Every week in the 2023/24 season, Football-Oranje’s Michael Statham gives you his previews and predictions for each Dutch Eredivisie round.

  • by Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter @EredivisieMike
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Friday, 1st September

Sparta Rotterdam v NEC Nijmegen

Sparta have surprised me with their start to the new season. I thought they would struggle more with the loss of head coach Maurice Steijn, but the same squad is still there, so little wonder, really!

I watched NEC’s 3-0 win over RKC, and you might think it was a convincing win — far from it! NEC were hanging on to a slender one-goal lead for much of the game and the players were actively persuading fans to stay on side throughout the second half when mistakes were being made. There’s no doubt though that the win will have brought much needed confidence, I just don’t see NEC beating Sparta at the moment.


Saturday, 2nd September

Almere City v PEC Zwolle

Almere have looked leaky since their Eredivisie promotion, whereas PEC Zwolle have played with a pragmatic approach to get their first win on the board.

I think this will be a draw. Almere will be happy with their first point, though PEC will be happier to build on their win last weekend and go on to have a better season than their hosts, probably somewhere closer to mid-table. I would go with under 3.5 goals at least here.


Go Ahead Eagles v Heerenveen

With the lack of Eredivisie games last weekend, we didn’t see eight teams in action. Go Ahead are one of those, but we know that they are better at home, and they take on Heerenveen whose defensive errors (primarily from goalkeeper Andries Noppert) cost them dearly in their previous match.

I do think the visitors have some good experience, and with that comes resilience. I will back the Frisians to earn a point. Even without the suspended Thom Haye, they have a good core, and they have some good forward players such as Osame Sahraoui who was dangerous last week. Go Ahead will miss Bobby Adekanye due to suspension too, and he is influential on how they play.


RKC Waalwijk v PSV

Three games and three defeats. I don’t think RKC have played too badly in any of them, but I also don’t see enough quality. Previous manager Joseph Oosting had a big impact at the club to help them punch above their weight; I don’t see Henk Fraser replicating that.

PSV had an intense Champions League game in mid-week, but you have to back them here to score goals. -1.5 Asian handicap would be my bet.


Heracles Almelo v Excelsior

Games like this one for Heracles in their own stadium may be crucial for their chances of staying up.

Marinus Dijkhuizen – the longest-serving head coach in the Eredivisie – usually has his Excelsior side well set up. I was surprised by how many chances they conceded at home to Fortuna last week, but they picked up a draw which keeps them undefeated. The Rotterdammers were awful on the road last season, so even a draw would represent a big improvement.


Sunday, 3rd September

FC Utrecht v Feyenoord

Having seen them a couple of times now, Utrecht did the right thing by sacking manager Michael Silberbauer. There’s potential in that squad to do far better than the performances they were putting out.

So until a new head coach arrives, the poor results will continue. Feyenoord will be relieved to pick up such a big win last time out (6-1 over Almere). The goals will come again here once Utrecht go one down.


FC Volendam v FC Twente

A subplot to this match is the ongoing situation with Carel Eiting wishing to leave Volendam to go to FC Twente. You can read more online about Eiting’s refusal to play for his team, but people who know him say he is someone who wants to play for lots of clubs in his career! He wants to experience as much of the footballing world as he can. Nevertheless, his attitude towards this forced move has been disappointing.

Twente play this after their second leg with Fenerbache on Thursday. I think it will take some wind out of their sails.


Fortuna Sittard v Ajax

Fortuna have enjoyed a promising start. I am curious to see how they can test an Ajax side still in its infancy. Although I will go for a narrow away win, we all know Ajax will be in for some slips this season as their new squad gels.


Vitesse Arnhem v AZ Alkmaar

I really think Vitesse will get a good result here. AZ have players with potential, but at the moment, they are struggling for consistency within games. Rather than a strong half an hour or so, they need that for whole 90 minutes if they are to go on and have a successful campaign. We’ve not seen enough of that so far.


How has Michael got on so far?

Week 1: 4/9 results

Week 2: 7/9 results and 2 correct scores

Week 3: 4/5 results (reduced due to teams in Europe not playing)

Michael Statham (763 Posts)

Writer/interviewer/YouTuber for Football-Oranje. Massive Dutch football fan from the UK. Follow me @EredivisieMike & subscribe to Football-Oranje on YouTube.