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 a re-match between the Michaels, as he takes on Football-Oranje editor & founder Michael Bell for a second time this season.

Friday 1st December

PEC Zwolle v Utrecht

Michael’s prediction: The manner of PEC Zwolle’s victory at Heerenveen was a little fortunate but showed a strong team effort to gain another result. I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if PEC had a consistent goalscorer. Youness Mokhtar is top with five.

I hope this’ll be a good match-up between two good sides. Utrecht have been looking good too. The winner here will probably be dragged by the quality of one star player, and I’d fancy Zakaria Labyad or Cyriel Dessers to do just that. 1-2

Michael Bell’s prediction: One of the games of the weekend between two of the Eredivisie’s form sides. Utrecht have won their last three, while PEC Zwolle recovered from their defeat to PSV by winning at Heerenveen. It is a difficult game to predict the outcome but in Zakaria Labyad, Utrecht have an in-form star that could make the difference. I can see a slender away victory. 0-1

Crypto Tip: First team to score – Zwolle

Saturday 2nd December

ADO Den Haag v Groningen

Michael’s prediction: At home we’ve come to expect ADO to be fairly solid, despite a lack of clean sheets and a reliance on players like Nassir El Khayati and Sheraldo Becker to provide that ounce of creativity or pace.

Groningen have better attacking talents but their issue lies in defence – one Eredivisie clean sheet since April. It’s not what we expect from an Ernest Faber team. Decent performances are riddled with defensive mistakes and it’s hindering their campaign. 1-1

Michael Bell‘s prediction: This Groningen side is packed full of talent and it’s baffling to me that they are doing so poorly. With the likes of Mahi and Idrissi they should have more than enough to beat ADO Den Haag, but the hosts have been a surprise package this season and are strong at home. I can see Groningen dominating but only coming away with a point. 2-2

Crypto Tip: Under 3 goals

Twente v Ajax

Michael’s prediction: The two games against Heerenveen and AZ came too soon for Twente. The Tukkers need to become a tougher side to beat, but getting back to basics is proving difficult.

Ajax have bagged on average at least three goals per game this season. It’s so hard to back against them. That said, if you watched their first-half at home to Roda, it’s a wonder how they scored so many goals! They weren’t at their best. I’m sure they will have the individual quality to get past out-of-form Twente. 1-2

Michael Bell‘s prediction: Gertjan Verbeek hasn’t had the impact expected since he took charge in Enschede with four straight defeats. The Tukkers were totally outplayed by AZ last weekend and were lucky the game only finished 2-0. This weekend they face an Ajax side banging in the goals and I can’t see anything but the three points heading back to Amsterdam. I hope to see more of Frenkie de Jong and hope Justin Kluivert can replicate his performance from last week to prove some of the doubters, who believe it was a one-off wrong. 1-4

Crypto Tip: 2nd half over 1.5 goals

Feyenoord v Vitesse

Michael’s prediction: Feyenoord’s forwards were on fire last weekend. It seems to have restored a little bit of confidence.

In my opinion, Vitesse have been a bit flat lately. There is a dependence on Tim Matavz for the goals but he doesn’t show much mobility. If Bryan Linssen and Milot Rashica are out on the flanks, there needs to be someone in the ’10 role’ who can roam in the box too.

Although I predict the champions to build on their previous win, I think they’ll be facing a battle to finish in the top three come the end of the campaign. 2-1

Michael Bell’s prediction: Finally Feyenoord got a win last weekend but their performance against Groningen wasn’t great and defensively they were still very open. Vitesse will offer a much bigger challenge and have the players to cut Feyenoord open on the break. For me this could end in a draw. 2-2

Crypto Tip: Vitesse +1.5 Handicap

Willem II v Heracles

Michael’s prediction: Bartholomew Ogbeche is back! I reckon he’ll be key again here. A front two of him and Fran Sol could be a treat. The midfield can be a little lacklustre but Willem II’s strikers should gel quickly on the pitch.

Heracles are a good mid-table team that Willem II can beat with a good performance. The back-five (if re-used) should be enough to contain Paul Gladon, Kristoffer Peterson and Brandley Kuwas, if they can stick to positions and not be dragged around by their usually fluid counter-attacks. So, I’ll back them this time. 2-1

Michael Bells prediction: The hosts may not have won in four games but they showed great spirit to come back from 3-1 down to earn a point at VVV. Bartholomew Ogbeche and Fran Sol are a dangerous duo up front and I can see one of them scoring on Saturday. Heracles were hammered 4-1 at ADO Den Haag two weeks ago and only edged out NAC last week. Unless Brandley Kuwas has a blinder I can see Willem II getting a hard-earned three points. 2-1

Crypto Tip: BTTS Yes

Sunday 3rd December

VVV-Venlo v AZ

Michael’s prediction: The form book would have this as an away win all day long – I tend to agree as well. It’s hard to see VVV walking away with victory this Sunday.

AZ are creating so many chances in games at the moment and seem to be relatively tidy at the back. VVV will have to be plucky, try to play off defensive mistakes and hope Jahanbakhsh and co all have off-days in front of goal. 1-3

Michael Bell’s prediction: After such a bright start to the campaign the wheels have come off at VVV and they are rapidly sliding down the table. This weekend they face an in-form and dangerous AZ side, who have won five in a row. I tipped AZ to finish fourth before the campaign started but now feel they are favourites for third. In Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Wout Weghorst and Joris van Overeem, AZ have a dynamic and dangerous attack that will have too much for VVV this weekend. 1-3

Crypto Tip: Alkmaar win

PSV v Sparta

Michael’s prediction: I rightly said it’d be tricky for Sparta to get anything at home to Utrecht, and I don’t think they even get a prayer at PSV.

The PSV players look focussed at the minute to continue scoring goals and silencing critics. At home, I don’t think games like this will be an issue. Thirteen out of fourteen is on its way, but I think points will soon be dropped with two tricky away matches at Ajax and Groningen coming up. 3-0

Michael Bell‘s prediction: PSV are playing like champions. Winning their last two games without playing well and I can’t see them slipping up against a Sparta side that is struggling for goals and open at the back. Next week PSV travel to Ajax and they will be keen to keep the gap at eight points going into the game. For me it will be interesting if Cocu decides to stick with Luuk de Jong, who is still looking hopeless up front. PSV looked much better with Locadia, Bergwijn and Lozano up top at the start of the season and Cocu should revert back to them to bring back the flair. 2-0

Crypto Tip: Half time PSV/Full time PSV

Roda JC v Heerenveen

Michael’s prediction: Roda have the players to fight and earn gritty wins but they certainly don’t own the dynamic defenders that can keep up with fancy footwork or blistering pace.

That’s why I back Heerenveen to net another away win. It’s been a rough patch of results for them but they showed enough in their home defeat to PEC Zwolle last weekend to persuade me that they can go on and win this time. Too much flair for Roda to handle. 1-3

Michael Bell’s prediction: Roda JC played well in the first half against Ajax and should have been 2-0 up before the Amsterdammers ran riot. They should take heart from that into this weekend’s game against Heerenveen, who are so unpredictable. The Frisians have so many talented players but just can’t seem to get it right at the moment. I feel a draw in this one. 1-1

Crypto Tip: Heerenveen win

NAC Breda v Excelsior

Michael’s prediction: Whenever at an ‘Avondje NAC’, Stijn Vreven’s men feel home comforts and try to produce an entertaining night’s football. But on this occasion it’ll be a Sunday afternoon, with fans still seething from the last humiliation witnessed in Breda (0-8 to Ajax). There’ll be a nervous tension on the pitch.

Excelsior still surprisingly possess one of the finest away records in the league, so I don’t think they’ll be disappointing and roll over here. However, don’t expect fireworks from this match. 1-1

Michael Bell‘s prediction: NAC may play some good football at times but they are seven games without a victory and are looking odds on to finish in the bottom three. This weekend they have a winnable game on paper, but Excelsior have been difficult to beat this season and were unlucky to lose to PSV last weekend. Last time out at home, NAC were hammered 8-0 by Ajax but I think they will give their fans something to cheer this weekend. 1-0

Crypto Tip: Double chance Excelsior

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: 60% & Average Odds: 1.70

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)

Week 12: Michael: 3 results // Crypto: 7W – 1L – 1V (versus Opta Sports’ Bart Frouws)

Week 13: Michael: 7 results, 3 correct scores // Crypto: W – L – V (versus Football-Oranje writer James Rowe)

Michael Statham (729 Posts)

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