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 Bart Frouws, who works for Opta Sports, a company which analyses sports data.

Saturday 18th November

Twente v Heerenveen

Michael’s prediction: Twente’s new boss Gertjan Verbeek has now had three weeks to train his team the way he wants them to play. The 4-3 defeat to PSV certainly displayed plenty of heart, but now the team needs results, and I can’t see them losing here.

Heerenveen stopped the rot thanks to a goalless draw with Sparta last time out. Usually free flowing in attack, I personally haven’t found the Frisians to be as dangerous this year. That, and a more well-marshalled Twente defence, should earn a result in a tight match. 1-0

Bart’s prediction: FC Twente have put up a good fight against PSV last time out (4-3 defeat in Eindhoven) in the first game under new manager Gertjan Verbeek. The former Heerenveen boss had plenty of time during the international break to implement his ideas with the squad and you should be able to see some of the ‘Verbeek basics’ against struggling Heerenveen. 2-1

Tip: Double chance Heerenveen

Feyenoord v VVV-Venlo

Michael’s prediction: It’s almost unbelievable that the champions and a side only promoted last season are merely five points apart as we reach a third of the way through the season. Feyenoord are still not back to winning ways and VVV are edging out points well after overachieving in the opening matches.

Typically, you would fancy the hosts to blow VVV away here. However, players off-form and injured will make this a closer game than anticipated, especially because Venlo played all of the last campaign in the hope of getting to play and beating ‘the big boys’.

I will predict a home win though, but a close one at that. 2-0

Bart‘s prediction: Feyenoord have failed to win any of their last three home games in the Eredivisie, but this one against VVV-Venlo shouldn’t be a problem. It won’t be spectacular, as they might want to take it easy because of the Man City game next week, but I predict a fairly straightforward win for Feyenoord: 2-0

Tip: Venlo +2 Asian Handicap.

Why are Feyenoord struggling? Listen to our podcast where we try to explain their slump.

NAC Breda v Ajax

Michael’s prediction: I think NAC have a slim chance of claiming a result here if they can play compact. They’ve struggled for goals this season so playing to their strengths will really help.

Ajax suffered a shock defeat to Utrecht a fortnight ago which leaves them currently eight points behind leaders PSV. I reckon only a succession of wins between now and Christmas will see them remain in the title race – one of those being against PSV. Barring extraordinary luck, Ajax will win here. 0-3

Bart‘s prediction: Biggest problem for NAC this season is the lack of a free-scoring striker, which resulted in just two goals over their last five league games, despite attempting 66 shots. Ajax are not in great form either, but I don’t see Keizer’s men dropping points in Breda. 1-3

Tip: Ajax -1.5 Asian Handicap

Willem II v Sparta

Michael’s prediction: Willem II will hope to have Fran Sol back for this match. If he is, I can see him being very important in a tight and scrappy game. 2-1

Bart‘s prediction: I was really looking forward to watch Willem II this season, after signing players like Daniel Crowley, Pedro Chirivella and Ben Rienstra, but Erwin van de Looi’s team has not impressed me at all. Sparta are unbeaten in their last three, but don’t seem to be able to keep a clean sheet away from home. I think this game will end Willem II’s run of 18 Eredivisie games without a draw: 1-1

Tip: Draw no bet – Willem II.

Sunday 19th November

ADO Den Haag v Heracles

Michael’s prediction: I attended ADO’s 1-2 defeat to Heerenveen back in August. At the time, they lacked any invention in midfield, mistakes riddled the defence and they were left bottom of the table. Three months later, and Alfons Groenendijk has rediscovered the winning mentality in his squad but a winger or a striker who could be relied upon is still missing.

Back-to-back wins have boosted Heracles’s league standing. Winger Brandley Kuwas has certainly helped, and I expect him to be heavily involved once again.

I’m finding it hard to pick a winner here. So I’ll choose a draw. 1-1

Barts prediction: ADO have failed to beat Heracles in any of their last eight Eredivisie meetings (D2 L6) and I don’t see them win this time. They have scored just 11 goals after 11 matchdays, making it their least prolific start to an Eredivisie season since 2006/07. Heracles have picked up just one point away from home this season, but they should be able to win in Den Haag. 1-2

Tip: Over 2.5 goals.

PEC Zwolle v PSV

Michael’s prediction: How exciting this’ll be. This season’s surprise package PEC Zwolle (sitting third) face runaway leaders PSV.

At home, I think John van ‘t Schip’s side can keep it tight enough to worry PSV’s in-form forwards Jurgen Locadia and Hirving Lozano. They have the best defence in the league at the moment, but I can’t see PEC beating PSV. A lot of the good play we see from PEC happens around the box and they are actually not that harmful within the 18-yard box.

When I consider previous matches where I tipped PSV to drop points, such as the Vitesse away game, Phillp Cocu’s men ended up blowing their opposition away. How far the Eindhoven side have come since the 2-0 loss at Heerenveen.

Perhaps the visitors will have an off day and Zwolle can make use of the small pitch to their advantage. 1-1

Barts prediction: It’s been amazing to see what John van ‘t Schip has done at PEC Zwolle in just a couple of months. Zwolle have been fun to watch over the last couple of seasons, playing an attacking style of football, but have now combined it with defensive solidity. They have already kept more clean sheets this season (5) than in the whole of 2016/17 (4). This is the game I’m looking forward to the most this weekend, Zwolle will be able to put up a good fight but I see PSV winning this one. 1-2

Tip: PSV win

Utrecht v Excelsior

Michael’s prediction: On paper, it’s easy to predict a comfortable home win and last season Utrecht would have most likely beaten Excelsior. However, the magnificent away record held by the Rotterdammers thus far makes me think again. Also, Utrecht have been so inconsistent in the opening three months.

It’s anybody’s guess for the outcome of this game, such is the difficulty of making predictions in this league! I will go with my gut though and call for a narrow Utrecht victory. Zakaria Labyad’s guile is a fantastic weapon to have. 2-1

Bart‘s prediction: Excelsior have been really impressive so far this season, equalling their best ever Eredivisie start with 17 points from their opening 11 games (also in 1974/75 when converting to 3 points for a win). FC Utrecht’s last match was an upset – a 2-1 win against Ajax in the Amsterdam Arena, but with all the ups and downs this season you should not be surprised if they drop points against Excelsior. Don’t think it will happen though, Utrecht will win. 2-0

Tip: Over 2.5 goals

Groningen v Vitesse

Michael’s prediction: Every week I seem to slate Ernest Faber’s role at Groningen and blame defensive frailties as to why they are struggling. Nothing is changing and now Vitesse visit the north.

The two week break will have definitely suited Vitesse more. The Europa League has dampened a few of their performances at the weekend. Players such as Thomas Bruns and Milot Rashica will have been glad of the rest. From now, I think we will see the Vitesse that Henk Fraser has developed. 0-2

Barts prediction: FC Groningen have had all sorts of problems this season, both on and off the field. They have lost their last three Eredivisie games and I don’t see them getting a result against Vitesse. This fixture has proven to be a difficult one for Groningen, with just one win in their last 13 meetings. Vitesse are going back to Arnhem with three points. 0-1

Tip: Draw no bet – Vitesse

Roda JC v AZ

Michael’s prediction: Roda are slowly but surely changing their playing style from a defensive unit into a team that can take the game to opponents.

On occasion in the past, AZ have succumbed to pressure in away games like this. However, Wout Weghorst, Guus Til and Alireza Jahanbakhsh are all on fire at the moment and I can’t see all three having off days on Sunday afternoon. I think AZ will end up finding the game pretty comfortable. 0-2

Bart‘s prediction: Roda JC have won just three of the last 24 Eredivisie games against AZ, with just one of those victories coming in Kerkrade. I really like what AZ are doing at the moment, they have a lot of attacking options and are great fun to watch. My personal favourite, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, has been amazing the last couple of weeks and has been directly involved in eight of AZ’s last ten league goals. Should be an easy win for AZ this one: 1-3

Tip: AZ win

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)

Week 10: Michael: 4 results, 2 correct scores // Crypto: W – L – V (versus Sheffield Wednesday defender Joost van Aken)

Week 11: Michael: 3 results // Crypto: N/A (versus Football-Oranje editor Michael Bell)

Michael Statham (797 Posts)

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