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 Sheffield Wednesday and ex-Heerenveen centre-back Joost van Aken, who Michael met on Monday for an interview exclusively available on Football-Oranje.com.

  • By Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter @EredivisieMike
  • Follow Crypto on Twitter @FcCrypto
  • Follow Joost on Twitter @JoostvAkenProf


Friday 27th October

Twente v Excelsior

Michael’s prediction: A straightforward win over Roda has lifted Twente’s spirits following the sacking of René Hake. The players are shocked that Hake left. I can only imagine that the Twente board found that Hake wasn’t get the best out of his young squad.

The hosts are certainly more fluid when playing in Enschede but Excelsior have accrued 10 points from four away games up until now. A tough one to call…a home win for me. 2-0

Joost’s prediction: Excelsior are very hard to beat. They play away and it’s easier for them to play compact and park the bus. Away they’ll have chances and up front they have some strikers who could make a goal. 1-1

Crypto tip: Excelsior +1 Asian Handicap.

Saturday 28th October

Roda JC v Feyenoord

Michael’s prediction: Last year, Roda nearly kept Feyenoord out for the whole ninety minutes. A similar tactic may be used this time too, however I would be tempted to slay the visitors whilst they’re down – each recent disappointment in the last month or so has left Gio van Bronckhorst’s men low on confidence. The swagger in their play has dried up and now the play seems forced when trying to reach the striker.

It doesn’t help that Feyenoord also have an injury crisis in defence. Players are returning from injury and having to be thrown back into the starting XI, and don’t forget others are being played out of position.

Feyenoord’s season is on the brink of falling apart already. A big win is needed here to give the right stepping stone, but it won’t be easy. 1-2

Joost’s prediction: 0-2

Crypto tip: Roda +1.75 Asian Handicap.

Heracles v VVV-Venlo

Michael’s prediction: I would be tempted to go for goals here. Heracles will play a strong game on home soil(/astroturf) whilst VVV have conceded seven in their last two.

Away from home, VVV have been a little lucky so far. Although last minute equalisers show grit and fight, Maurice Steijn’s team have conceded more than enough chances to lose these matches. 3-1

Joost’s prediction: I think VVV are like Excelsior in away games. Hard to beat, stay compact and solid. 1-1

Crypto tip: Both teams to score – Yes.

Willem II v Ajax

Neres is also a man in form – with 3 assists against Feyenoord.

Michael’s prediction: Fran Sol is bang in form and it wouldn’t surprise me if he scores another here. He has been excellent in making the most of the possession that comes his way. Last season, he was instrumental in the team’s success and the Tilburgers couldn’t function without him as an attacking unit.

I admit I was very surprised by Ajax’s thrashing of Feyenoord. A closely fought game though was polished in Ajax’s favour thanks to the two late strikes. Kasper Dolberg’s brace is exciting – I hope we can now see the best of the Dane again, continuing with another goal or two on Saturday. 1-3

Joost’s prediction: Ajax have a lot of confidence now after the last match. Willem II are not the best and I think it will be an easy win for Ajax. 0-2

Crypto tip: Ajax -1.5 Asian Handicap.

PEC Zwolle v ADO Den Haag

Michael’s prediction: The marvellous run continues for PEC. For how long? Who knows. Challenging games against Vitesse, PSV and Heerenveen sit on the horizon, though. This one with ADO could still come under that category seeing as the visitors have won three on the bounce without conceding. A tough team to beat but easy to create chances against. 1-0

Joost’s prediction: 2-0

Crypto tip: Over 2.5 goals.

Sunday 29th October

Vitesse v PSV

Michael’s prediction: I’m excited by the prospect of this game. Vitesse are the side I tipped to make the top three this season, at the expense of PSV. Instead, we are seeing PSV lead the table but the Arnhem side still hold third ahead of an out of form Feyenoord.

Let’s see how well Santiago Arias and Joshua Brenet can handle Bryan Linssen and Milot Rashica – who will both make puzzling runs and dribbles around the penalty area. One of the key things to change about Vitesse this season is the midfielders all grab goals now. Last season, they were too reliant on Ricky van Wolfswinkel but now all of the midfield chip in by making runs into the box.

Recently, attention has been heaped back onto Jorrit Hendrix – PSV’s defensive midfielder. Personally, I hold reservations that he can fully replace the departed Andres Guardado, but his work so far has certainly helped his side’s ascent to the top and extend a five-point gap.

I can’t see PSV coming out of this with three points. The way Vitesse tore Heerenveen apart last weekend will send a warning to the visitors that they may have to take a more cautious approach. Phillip Cocu knows PSV will remain top of the Eredivisie with a draw and would see it as a very good point to pick up away from home. 1-1

Joost’s prediction: PSV always have players who can score and Vitesse are inconsistent sometimes, but not always. They beat Heerenveen 0-4 and they’ll think now they can beat PSV but I think PSV will win. 1-2

Crypto tip: Draw.

Sparta v Groningen

Michael’s prediction: An interesting match-up between two coaches who will be feeling the heat. Alex Pastoor’s and Ernest Faber’s credentials have been often questioned by myself, and a draw here wouldn’t surprise me.

Sparta lack quality to threaten the top half of the table but Groningen’s players are coached to play negative football, something which supporters have been bemoaning lately. 1-1

Joost’s prediction: Groningen are in trouble and Sparta as well. 1-0

Crypto tip: Draw.

Utrecht v NAC Breda

Michael’s prediction: I was disappointed with Utrecht last weekend at AZ. I thought their rough patch was over but it seems not and maybe the level of players that Erik Ten Hag has at his expense show the immense effort exerted to keep them in the top seven of the table.

Ten Hag was unhappy too after the final whistle, perhaps it was an uncomfortable coach ride home for the players as it’s unlike Ten Hag to show his frustrations post-match.

Back at home, though, and they face NAC Breda next who themselves will be frustrated by the recent lack of points against sides who are around them in the table, despite dominating the games. Unfortunately, I think they will have to wait even longer to climb the table. 2-0

Joost’s prediction: 3-0

Crypto tip: Utrecht -1 Asian Handicap.

Heerenveen v AZ

Michael’s prediction: Three successive defeats have hampered Heerenveen’s bright start to the campaign. The defensive cracks are showing again which is frustrating even for me to see as an outsider. Jurgen Streppel needs to adapt his style before another season like the last one, where his side gained 14 points in the second half of the season compared to 29 in the first.

AZ will want to replicate the attacking form of last week and punish the Frisians in the same way Vitesse managed during their 0-4 win.

Heerenveen will respond but I can’t see them seeing out parts of the game in which they come under pressure. There will definitely be goals in this game between two very good footballing sides. Perhaps even an advert for “typical Eredivisie”! 1-2

Joost’s prediction: I have to support my former club but they didn’t do very well in the last matches. I think they deserve a win. In the first half of last season we were 4th and then in the second half of the season we would have been 17th. If we knew the problem we would have changed it. I think it was a mental thing – the confidence in the group. There were a lot of players who were at the end of their contract that season, so maybe their minds were already elsewhere and without their full focus on Heerenveen. 2-1

Crypto tip: Over 3 goals.

Agree/disagree with our predictions and betting tips? Did we win/lose you a fortune? Tweet us!

How have Michael & Crypto done so far?

Crypto’s running success – Hit Rate: 56% & Average Odds: 1.65

Week 1: Michael: 3 results // Crypto: 5W – 3L – 1V (versus PSV-watcher and journalist Rik Elfrink)

Week 2: Michael: 7 results, 2 correct scores // Crypto: 6W – 1L – 2V (versus commentator Paul Thomas Clay)

Week 3: Michael: 6 results, 1 correct score // Crypto: 5W – 2L – 2V (versus [Ajax Daily] writer Alex Moretto)

Week 4: Michael: 4 results, 1 correct score // Crypto: 6W – 2L – 1V (versus Sky journalist Joshua Hayward)

Week 5: Michael: 2 results, 1 correct score // Crypto: 5W – 4L – 0V (versus commentator Richard Connelly)

Week 6: Michael: 1 result // Crypto: 4W – 5L – 0V (versus Football Manager researcher Jeroen Thijssen)

Week 7: Michael: 5 results // Crypto: 6W – 3L – 0V (versus Ajax Daily’s Bradley Dobson)

Week 8: Michael: 3 results, 1 correct score // Crypto: 5W – 2L – 2V (versus journalist Sjors van Veen)

Week 9: Michael: 2 results // Crypto: 4W – 4L – 1V (versus engels-voetbal’s Ferdi Delies)

Michael Statham (812 Posts)

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