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 Adam Sankowski who writes for website Piłka w Holandii – a Polish language outlet for Dutch football news.

  • by Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter @EredivisieMike
  • Follow Adam on Twitter @Adsun22

Friday 22nd December

ADO Den Haag v PEC Zwolle

Michael’s prediction: It was a total off day for ADO at PSV. That said, they do prefer to face the lesser teams, as they tend to struggle against the bigger sides.

PEC are next into town, who came from 2 down to win 2-3 at Willem II last time out in the league. It showed great spirit once again, but how long can the good run last? I think it’ll continue here. 1-2

Listen to our podcast to hear more of my thoughts on PEC Zwolle and many other Eredivisie sides.

Adam‘s prediction: Zwolle continues being the biggest surprise so far this season after a great come-back against Willem II. De Blauwvingers have won their last 6 matches against ADO and I can’t think of any reason why they can’t win this time. 1-3

Tip: Draw no bet – PEC Zwolle

Saturday 23rd December

NAC Breda v Utrecht

Michael’s prediction: NAC have won once in eleven games and I’m starting to worry if they have what it takes to remain in the Eredivisie. They will need to start taking unexpected points from games like these if they want to have a chance of escaping the bottom three.

On the flip side, Utrecht are undefeated in seven, so it would be a shock if NAC were to win here. However, if you’ve ever experienced an ‘Avondje NAC’ atmosphere, it’s one of the most imtimidating audiences in the Eredivisie. I think it’ll push the home side over the line to grab a point. 1-1

Adam’s prediction: Breda is one of the worst teams this season. That’s a pity, because they have very talented players, just young and inexperienced. They have good statistics agaist Utrecht, but this time I’ll go for the visiting team. 1-2

Tip: Double chance Utrecht

AZ v Heerenveen

Michael’s prediction: AZ were winning game after game in the league but a draw at high flying PEC Zwolle and a home defeat to second place Ajax have set them back a little. There are enough quality players to beat Heerenveen though, who aren’t in their best form at the moment.

Maybe the Alkmaar side have found their level this season. A battle for the top three with Feyenoord and PEC Zwolle is a tough but realistic aim for the rest of the campaign. The PEC and Ajax matches show, however, that AZ are not ready yet for a title push.

Both teams love a goal, especially when they play each other. 3-1

Adam‘s prediction: Before the start of the season I thought these two teams would be fighting for the top 3. Now they’re separated by 12 points. Heerenveen last Saturday finally won a game. Despite so many wonderful players they’re struggling a lot, and without Odegaard and with Reza in such poor form I don’t think Heerenveen will pose a threat to AZ. 2-1

Tip: Over 2.5 goals

PSV v Vitesse

Michael’s prediction: PSV will hope to make it a hat-trick of home wins in a week following victories over ADO and VVV, where they scored seven goals along the way. That persuades me that the confidence is back amongst the squad and that they can put away Vitesse.

There have been doubts over manager Henk Fraser’s future this week. Fraser is dissatisfied with the level of interruption coming from the club’s board members, which puts his position under more scrutiny than is needed.

It does show on the pitch as well. I haven’t seen the illustrious Vitesse of last season the longer this campaign has wore on. They’re not quite as competitive in all of their matches. Perhaps they need the winter break to recharge after a busy five months. 3-0

Adam’s prediction: PSV have lost only two games this season, but besides great quality they’re also very lucky. I don’t think Vitesse can stop them, as they recently had trouble with such teams as Willem II and Twente. One Rashica is just not enough. 3-1

Tip: Over 2.5 goals

Excelsior v Twente

Michael’s prediction: Excelsior beat Groningen last weekend but needed a bit of luck at both ends of the pitch to ensure victory.

Twente took a little longer than expected to get going under new manager Gertjan Verbeek, but they now look like his team. I’m predicting an away win. Good odds! 1-2

Adams prediction: Both teams recently broke their losing streak. Twente didn’t look good with Gertjan Verbeek as a coach, but recently they managed to draw with Ajax and Vitesse, so there’s a hope. Excelsior after the win against Groningen would like to continue that winning path, but I predict only a draw. 2-2

Tip: Both teams to score

Sunday 24th December

Groningen v Sparta

Michael’s prediction: Groningen fell to a 2-0 defeat at Excelsior last time out but held a lot of possession and created some good opportunities. The problem for them is having a player of true killer instinct in the box (an in-form Mimoun Mahi would be helpful) and the need to cut out silly defensive errors.

It could be worse though. Sparta have just sacked Alex Pastoor after falling to a 0-7 defeat at the hands of local rivals Feyenoord. There are many problems for them. The shape was wrong (a 4-4-2 that allowed far too much space between the lines) but the players did not close down and there is a crippling lack of pace in central defence.

Whoever takes over at Sparta will have their work cut out. I think Groningen can grab a much-needed win here. 2-0 

Adams prediction: It might be interesting game. Groningen still with Faber, Sparta already without Pastoor. De Kasteelheren were, and still are, my first relegation candidate. I feel they needed a breath of fresh air and a new coach may be a good step. Sparta will be motivated after the defeat in the Rotterdam derby, but Groningen is more unpredictable. 1-1

Tip: Under 3 goals

Ajax v Willem II

Michael’s prediction: After the winter break, Ajax next face Feyenoord at home and Utrecht away. Two very tough fixtures. The need to win here then is great.

The worry for Ajax will be dealing with Willem II’s in-form strikers Bartholomew Ogbeche and Fran Sol. In my opinion, they should play a proper back four here to counteract that. Frenkie De Jong should be brought into his more natural midfield position. 3-1

Adam’s prediction: Ajax is chasing PSV and can’t slip up now when they’re just 5 points behind. Willem II have two great strikers far too good for this team – Ogbeche and Sol, and they could score, but I don’t expect much more from this team. 4-1

Tip: Ajax -1.5 Asian Handicap

VVV-Venlo v Heracles

Michael’s prediction: The difference between VVV’s home and away form is huge and not in the way you might have thought. Venlo have lost once away from home all season, but have won only the one time in De Koel.

The pressure to play a more expansive style is usually their undoing in Venlo, and it’ll be tough for Heracles to handle. I think that it’ll leave the right kind of space though that the Almelo side enjoy exploiting. Brandley Kuwas, Kristoffer Peterson and Paul Gladon should all start and I will back them to do the damage. I’m predicting Heracles to pick up what would be their first away win of the campaign. 1-2

Adams prediction: VVV is well organised team, with a few outstanding players like van Crooij or Leemans, but they just don’t have decent outcomes. The win against Roda is not a big success, but at least Venlo ended the run of bad luck. Heracles on the other hand has Kuwas. It’s a joy to watch him on the pitch, but even he can’t win a game on his own. 2-2

Tip: Both teams to score

Feyenoord v Roda JC

Michael’s prediction: It has been a tumultuous time for Feyenoord since winning the Eredivisie in May, but goals seem to be back in the team.

For that reason, they will have enough to put away Roda comfortably. The team from Kerkrade win some good points at home, but they’ll struggle in De Kuip. 4-0

Adam’s prediction: First match between these two teams in Kerkrade ended in a draw, and it kind of shows how dangerous Roda can be. They’re unpredictable and able to be a difficult obstacle to overcome even for the best Eredivisie sides. Feyenoord might be too self-confident after they thrashed Sparta in Rotterdam derby, so I don’t expect easy game for them, but they should win this one. 3-1

Tip: Feyenoord -1.5 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)

Week 16: Michael: 3 results // Crypto: N/A (versus Dutch football writer Alex Dieker)

Week 17: Michael: 5 results // Crypto: N/A (versus [Ajax Daily] Alex Moretto)

Michael Statham (818 Posts)

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