Every week in the 2017/18 season, Football-Oranje writer Michael Statham offers you his predictions for each Eredivisie round, accompanied by betting tips from Betsmobil’s Dutch football tipster Crypto. Michael competes against a different special guest each week. This time, it’s PSV-watcher Rik Elfrink, who is a very well known journalist in the Netherlands for his extensive contributions to the Eindhovens Dagblad and AD Sportwereld.

  • By Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter @EredivisieMike
  • Follow Crypto on Twitter @FcCrypto
  • Follow Rik on Twitter @RikElfrink

Friday 11th August

ADO Den Haag v Utrecht

Former Feyenoorder Lex Immers has returned to bolster ADO’s attack

Michael’s prediction: Over the summer, I don’t think ADO have replaced well enough to push on from last season, in which they struggled until the arrival of Alfons Groenendijk.

Utrecht haven’t come out of the transfer market any stronger either. Losing key players such as Haller, Barazite and Amrabat means they lose goals. On the other hand I think their defence will be tight this season.

The spirit shown by Utrecht in the Europa League was pleasing to see, but my concern is whether or not they have the quality to get as many wins as they did last season. 1-1

Rik’s prediction: Utrecht is an outsider for taking a top 3 position in the Eredivisie this year. Although they lost one of the best players in the league (Sébastien Haller), they don’t seem to have too many problems in scoring. 1-2

Crypto tip: Under 2.75 goals.

Saturday 12th August

VVV-Venlo v Sparta

Michael’s prediction: Eredivisie newcomers VVV host a side that were fortunate to stay up last season. What doesn’t help Sparta is that promoted teams VVV and NAC look good sides who may not be flirting too much with the bottom three – thus making it a tougher challenge for Sparta and the others.

I’d back 28-year-old striker Ralf Seuntjens to make his mark in the top flight and help Venlo achieve a happy return to the league. 2-0

Rik’s prediction: VVV has to win direct to put pressure on Sparta, which is one of the competitors for place 16, 17 and 18. Sparta lost two important defenders but have more experience on the highest level. VVV have to prove a lot, but this first game is an interesting challenge to start well. 2-1

Crypto tip: Under 2.75 goals

PSV v AZ

Michael’s prediction: For a more detailed opinion of mine on PSV, please listen to the latest Football-Oranje podcast. It’s a calamity which must fall at Phillip Cocu’s feet. The club have gone backwards in the last two years, on the brink of the Champions League last eight to now being eliminated in Europa League qualifying.

Players are unmotivated, too many key players have left and attacking tactics are still too predictable. So confidence will be low when Alkmaar visit Eindhoven. AZ winger Calvin Stengs has already stated his team’s intent on the first day: to beat PSV. The ranging confidence is refreshing and I fully expect a revitalised AZ (after a great pre-season) to ruffle some feathers. 1-3

Rik’s prediction: PSV still has many problems and it wouldn’t surprise me if it is going to be a very difficult game against AZ again. Without a victory the crowd will be upset and require more changes in the technical staff. I think PSV will win, but not after a tough and heavy game. 1-0

Crypto tip: Alkmaar to score.

 

Heracles v Ajax

Michael’s prediction: I think Heracles are in for a good campaign. John Stegeman is a competant trainer and likes to gamble in matches – leading to fewer draws and more defeats, but also more wins. Plus at the moment, they still have last season’s top scorer Samuel Armenteros.

Ajax are my tip for the title and showed why in the Champions League matches with Nice. They have the quality to put away all the rivals in the league and the lack of a true defensive midfielder is enough in the Eredivisie and would in fact work in their favour to produce more chances.

What’s more, their summer was blighted by the unfortunate Abdelhak Nouri. All the players will now be fighting extra hard for the club’s 34th title in memory of the unwell player who wore shirt number 34. 1-3

Rik’s prediction: Ajax is the favourite to get the title this year, but the game against Heracles is rarely easy. The team of Marcel Keizer has to bounce back after the Champions League setback. 2-3

Crypto tip: Ajax team goals over 1.5

Vitesse v NAC Breda

Michael’s prediction: I like Vitesse’s new look squad. It’s experienced and has more quality in depth. It’s a great response to losing several key players before the club’s foray into the Europa League.

They will beat NAC quite comfortably I would expect. However, Breda are in for a very exciting campaign! I just feel that this will be an even more exciting season for Vitesse, including a push for the top three. 3-1

Rik’s prediction: Vitesse starts as the big favorite in this game and will win. NAC will get their points in Breda this year, but will have troubles in away games. 3-1

Crypto tip: Over 2.5 goals

Sunday 13th August

 

PEC Zwolle v Roda JC

Michael’s prediction: I expect both of these sides to be sitting in the bottom half of the table for probably the whole season.

PEC still have a low budget in the Eredivisie and even though Roda claim to have room to manoeuvre in the transfer market these days, I haven’t noticed that this summer. A low scoring affair. 1-1

Rik’s prediction: After a difficult year, PEC wants to start better, after they did upon promotion to the Eredivisie. Roda struggled last year and will be around position 13-17 again this year, I think. 2-1

Crypto tip: PEC Zwolle to win.

Feyenoord v Twente

Michael’s prediction: I’m backing Feyenoord to put up a very solid defence of their first title in 18 years but fall just short. They will get off to a good start here versus Twente, who I think will struggle this season.

I spoke to midfielder Fredrik Jensen at the end of last month and whilst he attempted to sound optimistic for the new campaign, even he didn’t think seventh place was a realisitic feat to replicate this time around.

Watching Twente being turned over by English Championship side Bristol City hardly filled me with confidence. New tactics, young players and a lack of European ambition (Twente are banned from the Champions/Europa League) doesn’t spell success. 2-0

Rik’s prediction: The pressure is on the champions, who lost some important players, but still must be able to fight for the first places in the league. Against Twente, Feyenoord will start well I think and will not have too many problems. 3-1

Crypto tip: Feyenoord -1.5 Handicap

Willem II v Excelsior

Michael’s prediction: Daniel Crowley and Pedro Chirivella are two decent additions to the Willem II midfield to inject creativity into a solid side. More service for hard-working Fran Sol sounds exciting for fans from Tilburg.

Excelsior again face an uphill battle to remain in the division due to the tiny club still holding a lack of funds to really compete in the Eredivisie. The squad hasn’t changed much, so expect a defensive effort to nullify Willem II. 1-0

Rik’s prediction: Two teams that will normally have to fight to stay in the Eredivisie. Excelsior defended well last year and Willem II had many problems in scoring, but also defended well in many games. 0-0

Crypto tip: Double chance Excelsior

Groningen v Heerenveen

Michael’s prediction: Having a Derby of the North this early in the season is disappointing. Both teams will be cautious as they try to find their feet.

It’s hard to say who out of these two evenly matched clubs will perform better this year. Groningen are more defensively resolute under Ernest Faber whilst Jurgen Streppel’s men are usually inconsistent but I am impressed who they have bought this summer.

Heerenveen have more quality and are likely to push for a win. I’ll plump for an away victory. 0-1

Rik’s prediction: FC Groningen have to play more attractively this year and there is some pressure on the team after last year. Heerenveen struggled between January and May and also have to start well. Could be a very attractive game. 3-2

Crypto tip: Over 2.5 goals

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Michael Statham (205 Posts)

I'm a physics student from the UK and a massive Eredivisie fan. Started watching after being inspired by the Netherlands national team after the 2010 World Cup. Wilfred Bouma also has a big part to play in my initial keen interest in the league, being a Villa fan meant I wanted to keep track of my favourite player.