Every week in the 2017/18 season, Football-Oranje writer Michael Statham offers you his predictions for each Eredivisie round, accompanied by his betting tips. Michael competes against a different special guest each week. This time, it’s Bradley Dobson from AjaxDaily.com – the English source for news for surrounding Ajax.

Friday 8th December

Willem II v NAC Breda

Michael’s prediction: Both of these sides sit just above the relegation zone and picked up morale-boosting wins last weekend. However, both also seemed to address their major issues: Willem II with their attack and NAC Breda their defence.

The returning Bartholomew Ogbeche and Fran Sol are a wonderful partnership up front for the Tilburgers. An expansive 4-4-2 on Friday will allow them to spread the play and poke the weaknesses which NAC may not have exposed last Sunday, but the 0-8 defeat to Ajax certainly won’t be forgotten quickly. 3-1

Bradley’s prediction: Both sides came away from last weekend with three points a piece and three goals scored. Despite being sat 14th and 15th, I think Willem will come away with a home win. 2-0

Tip: Ogbeche to score at any time.

Saturday 9th December

Heerenveen v VVV-Venlo

Michael’s prediction: Only three points separate Heerenveen and VVV, but I’m sure it’ll be more by full-time here.

Heerenveen will be very disappointed to have let the lead slip to lose at bottom club Roda, and I’m sure their attack will be enough to overwhelm Venlo, who are winless in seven, and help them bounce back. 2-0

Bradley’s prediction: Heerenveen crumbled away at bottom of the league Roda while Venlo lost at home to high flying AZ. I predict a home win. 3-1

Tip: Heerenveen -1.5 Asian handicap.

Excelsior v PEC Zwolle

Michael’s prediction: This is tricky to predict given how both sides play. Both have players with great ball control and technical ability to work well in the small spaces. However, neither rely on an out and out goalscorer.

Mid-table Excelsior have home advantage but PEC Zwolle have been exceptional enough this season to sit in fourth. I think they’ll be held to a draw here though. 1-1

Bradley‘s prediction: Excelsior haven’t picked any points in their last three Eredivisie fixtures while Zwolle are chasing third spot, only three points a drift of Ajax. Zwolle will want to push on and chase Ajax and with Excelsior struggling. 0-1

Tip: Under 2.5 goals.

AZ v Heracles

Michael’s prediction: AZ continue to pull out the wins that sees them above Ajax in second place.

Let’s see what Heracles can bring. They have dangerous forward players but in the form Alkmaar are in, how can you doubt them? I think they can play even better too. 2-1

Bradley’s prediction: You’ve got to go with a comfortable AZ win here. Heracles have really struggled on the road this season. 3-0

Tip: Over 2.5 goals.

Twente v ADO Den Haag

Michael’s prediction: After this, Twente face NAC away, Vitesse at home and Excelsior away – all four games present opportunities to pick up points before Christmas. I think they’ll start with a win at home to ADO, who are a solid side but one which Twente can beat now that their fighting spirit seems to be back.

The quality up front needs to improve but there’s enough threat in the team to get past ADO. 1-0

Bradleys prediction: It was joy and jubilation in Enschede last weekend as Twente stunned Ajax in a three goal thriller. Den Haag have failed to score in their last two games. If Twente take their motivation from last weekend into this game there should be no reason they can’t come away with three points. 2-1

Tip: Under 2.5 goals.

Sunday 10th December

Roda JC v Groningen

Michael’s prediction: Dani Schahin, Roda’s striker, angered a lot of his own supporters in the way he hushed the home crowd after his goal in the 2-1 win over Heerenveen. He’s disappointed in the fans’ reaction considering the Kerkrade side should be expected to struggle given financial differences between Roda and many of the other Eredivisie teams.

I am on Schahin’s side – but he did go over the top in his ‘celebration’. The fans got the point and yet he continued to pester the stands.

Groningen won well at ADO last time out, but I don’t think they’ll have it all so easy this weekend. 1-1

Bradley’s prediction: Apart from their win last weekend away to Den Haag, Groningen have been far from impressive on their travels this season. Saying that, Roda sit bottom for a reason. 0-3

Tip: Both teams to score.

Utrecht v Feyenoord

Michael’s prediction: Utrecht are currently on a five-match unbeaten run. A good time to face Feyenoord? Probably not, now that it seems the Rotterdammers have finally turned the corner this season.

Feyenoord are still not at their best though, and I get the feeling that they will be outfought here, but still earn a fortuitous victory. The last minute win over Napoli at least shows the confidence is back. 1-2

Bradley‘s prediction: As an Ajax supporter all I want is an Utrecht win. Saying that, both sides sit next to each other in the table. Feyenoord are coming into this tie with high spirits after their win against Napoli mid-week. 2-2

Tip: Both teams to score.

Sparta v Vitesse

Michael’s prediction: Vitesse rested enough key players on Thursday to be fresh for this. Sparta will feel the difference in quality on Sunday, similar to the recent Utrecht defeat (1-3). 1-2

Bradley’s prediction: Simply due to quality, I’m going for an away win for Vitesse. They’ve picked up results when needed this season Vitesse but not quite enough to push on. 0-2

Tip: Under 3 goals.

Ajax v PSV

Michael’s prediction: The obvious ‘game of the week’. I can’t wait to see how this one turns out. Ajax are ten points behind PSV, and if you ask me, I think Ajax are the only real challengers to PSV for the Eredivisie title this season. Hence this is a must-win for them.

Phillip Cocu has guided his team to 13 wins out of 14 in the league so far, but it’s only a matter of time before a slip-up or two occur. That’s not to say they’ll bottle it, though.

Ajax have to go for it – and that suits PSV. The away side will turn up to frustrate and counter Ajax, it makes best use of their forward players, who have speed and efficiency with chances on the break. It’s a risk Ajax have to take and I’m sure Marcel Keizer will set up to play that way.

That makes this game incredibly difficult to call. But the way this campaign is going, it seems that Ajax are a shadow of the quality team they were in May that lead to me calling them to win the Eredivisie this season. If they use a back three again, it’ll help them create chances against PSV who are simply not as good away from Eindhoven, but it leaves them so open to counter-attacks. 2-2

Bradley’s prediction: I should be diving in here backing my team but I’m far from confident. Last weekend against Twente despite the goal fest, we were far from good! PSV’s position speaks for itself.. 1-1

Tip:  Both teams to score.

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: 3W – 6L – 0V (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: 6W – 3L – 0V (versus Football-Oranje writer James Rowe)

Week 14: Michael: 4 results // Crypto: 4W – 4L – 1V (versus Football-Oranje editor Michael Bell)




Michael Statham (333 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.