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. For the special mid-week round, it’s Alex Dieker, who writes about Dutch football for Ajax Daily and EiFSoccer as well as weekly Eredivisie roundups for By Far the Greatest Team.

  • by Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter @EredivisieMike
  • Follow Alex on Twitter @adiek22

Tuesday 12th December

NAC Breda v Twente

Michael’s prediction: The mid-week round begins with Tuesday’s battle at the bottom. NAC are over their Eredivisie honeymoon period and have now realised the situation facing the club this season. They’re edging out points following a dodgy run without a win.

As for Twente, what a sorry state of affairs they find themselves in. I thought they would struggle this year but after battling liquidation for the past 4-5 years, I saw this season as a new beginning for the club. Instead, they currently sit bottom of the Eredivisie. Sacking René Hake seems to have made matters worse too. Gertjan Verbeek was brought in to oversee change in mentality of the squad into a more solid unit. Playing a back five at home to ADO yet still conceding three times is simply not good enough. However, the attack actually seems to be creating more chances recently, so if the defence can cut out mistakes, Twente will begin to win some games. 2-1

Alex‘s prediction: Who would’ve thought that FC Twente would be bottom of the league by this point in the season? I most certainly did not, which leads me to believe that they have the ability to pick their form up soon. The Ajax draw was a great result and the ADO loss was unfortunate – not the worst results heading into a pretty crucial relegation battle against NAC Breda. That being said, Breda themselves have been performing well. A big win against Excelsior and decent showing against in-form Willem II makes me believe that they’ll be able to take the game to Twente this week. 2-0

Tip: Both teams to score

PEC Zwolle v AZ

Michael’s prediction: It amazes me how PEC Zwolle’s run keeps on going. I really hope they bring in another striker in January – a real poacher who could score goals out of nothing to accompany the best defensive record in the league.

AZ are going well too. So this should be a pleasing match on the eye between two teams with technically gifted players who like to attack in numbers.

I think the playing style will suit AZ more. They can play on the break and exploit a lack of pace in behind PEC’s defence. It will be tricky for Alkmaar but players such as Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Guus Til and Wout Weghorst are in form. 1-2

Alex’s prediction: AZ Alkmaar are the most in-form side in the Eredivisie and their second half performance against Heracles over the weekend was superb. Zwolle have dropped off in recent weeks (by their newly-created standards) but have still managed to maintain some good results. AZ aren’t the best side on the road and only scored three goals in matches against VVV and Roda. I still think AZ will snatch three points from this one, but it will be close. 1-2

Tip: Draw no bet – AZ

Wednesday 13th December

Vitesse v Willem II

Michael’s prediction: The home side won’t have played since Thursday; a small, yet welcome rest. They will have to be mindful of Willem II’s new striker duo of Batholomew Ogbeche and Fran Sol – a partnership I pick up on every week at the moment – but few can stop them.

Vitesse might choose to employ a back-five again, like in their win over Nice in the Europa League. Selection headaches for Ernest Faber include whether to pick Mason Mount, Julian Lelieveld and Luc Castaignos.

I think it’ll be a tight game and the Tilburgers will walk away with a point. 1-1

Alex‘s prediction: Vitesse got the weekend off and performed well midweek in Europe, but Ogbeche’s fantastic form for Willem II will be tough to handle. I think the weekend rest will help the home side a lot as they’ll be much more refreshed and able to pump the ball forward to their threatening attackers. Willem II’s four match undefeated run will come to an end, possibly by a large margin as well. 4-1

Tip: Both teams to score

Groningen v PSV

Michael’s prediction: Groningen have picked up seven points from their last four matches, which is much more positive than the run before that.

I just think that PSV will be out for revenge after losing so limply to Ajax. I don’t think PSV will find it easy but they should find a way past Groningen. 0-2

Alex’s prediction: PSV’s performance against Ajax was a collector’s item (if you wanted to collect boring and poorly-structured objects). Groningen’s season hasn’t been much better though, and the nature of the defeat in De Topper will certainly motivate Cocu’s boys to get a result up north. They’ll do it, but without Locadia the goals may not come flowing through. 0-2

Tip: Groningen +2 Asian Handicap

VVV-Venlo v Utrecht

Michael’s prediction: VVV haven’t won at home since the opening day of the season, so it’s long overdue.

I am tipping a shock result here. Despite Utrecht playing some promising stuff recently, a Wednesday night away in Venlo could be a tricky affair. 2-1

Alexs prediction: VVV have proven pesky opponents for a few teams this season – see Feyenoord. Heerenveen struggled to deal with their counter-attacks, but a rested Utrecht should be able to handle them much better. However, VVV defeated Utrecht 3-1 in the Cup not long ago. Both sides will create a lot of chances, but I think Utrecht will get revenge this time. 1-3

Tip: Over 2.5 goals.

Feyenoord v Heerenveen

Michael’s prediction: Feyenoord will be itching to get out on the pitch again after having their game with Utrecht called off.

For me, Feyenoord will find this quite a straight forward victory. Heerenveen have been faltering and fans are starting to get a bit fed up of Jurgen Streppel. I wasn’t his biggest fan since he joined the club, but now supporters have realised that Streppel isn’t flexible in his tactics – and it’s costing them results.

The hosts have been struggling for goals but I think they’ll hold the lion’s share of possession and pounce on any defensive errors. 3-0

Alexs prediction: Heerenveen have been extremely disappointing after their fantastic start to the season. Their draw with VVV highlighted the Frisians’ fragility at the back, which Feyenoord should be able to exploit. I emphasize should because the Eredivisie champions haven’t been themselves this season and have been vulnerable to some poor results (even in De Kuip). It’s a difficult call, but I think Feyenoord will win this one. 2-0

Tip: Over 2.5 goals

ADO Den Haag v Roda JC

Michael’s prediction: ADO have turned around a poor first few weeks to the campaign and now sit eighth. Roda have also started to find their feet, so this could be a very competitive match.

Roda will deal with Bjorn Johnsen’s aerial threat well, I think, but most Eredivisie sides struggle with Nasser El Khayati’s qualities, what a turn around for the former QPR midfielder too as I was a big critic of his when he returned to the Netherlands. 1-1

Alex‘s prediction: Den Haag square off against a similarly relegation-threatened opponent in Roda after winning Twente at the last minute. I do think that the three points were quite flattering; the home side must do more to get a win against Roda. Speaking of the visitors, Roda have impressed in recent weeks. I believe Simon Gustafson and company will provide a major threat in The Hague, but the sides won’t be able to be separated. 1-1

Tip: Both teams to score

Thursday 14th December

Heracles v Sparta

Michael’s prediction: My predictions for Heracles are quite easy since they do fare better at home than away. The statistics back me up too: the Almelo side have won seventeen out of their eighteen points at home, yet only one away.

Visiting Sparta are the league’s lowest goalscorers. How can you back against Heracles? 2-0

Alexs prediction: Heracles got absolutely exposed against a high-flying AZ Alkmaar over the weekend. Their season has been somewhat of a disappointment and I’d like to see them pick up some good results before the winter break. Sparta got the weekend off and have been in pretty good form. Brandley Kuwas could be looking for a move away from Heracles in the winter, so the winger will be putting his best foot forward against Sparta. I don’t trust either side, but Heracles have the talent to see out this home match. 2-1

Tip: Home win

Ajax v Excelsior

Michael’s prediction: To follow up their win over league leaders PSV, Ajax must win this game in their pursuit of the Eindhoven side.

Excelsior have done well away from home this season, but will find it tough here. Ajax will be fired up now that the title race is back on. 4-0

Alex’s prediction: My dear Ajax delivered a major result over the weekend against PSV, launching De Godenzonen back into the title race. Excelsior have lost four on the bounce and won’t have much confidence visiting the Amsterdam ArenA. They have posed Ajax some trouble in the past, but Marcel Keizer’s squad has way too much talent to drop points in this one. That being said, this is the type of match in which Ajax would fail to win. 4-0

Tip: Ajax -2 Asian handicap

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)

Week 15: Michael: 2 results *2 postponed* // Crypto N/A (versus Ajax Daily’s Bradley Dobson)

Michael Statham (261 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.