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 Barry Pirovano, a football artist whose work you can see throughout this article and can purchase here. The big game this weekend is between Feyenoord and PSV in De Kuip.

  • by Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter @EredivisieMike
  • Follow Barry on Twitter @barrypirovano

Click this picture of Ajax midfielder Hakim Ziyech to go to Barry Pirovano’s amazing artwork collection!

Friday 23rd February

Groningen v NAC Breda

Michael’s prediction: When I watched Groningen get a 1-1 draw at VVV last weekend, I could see they’re a good footballing side, with some exciting, young, attacking players. They perhaps need to create more chances though if their defence can’t keep many clean sheets.

Playing more open against NAC Breda, in a game the hosts must win to keep away from the relegation battle, will suit Groningen. NAC will get some better results in Breda, and even if they run Groningen tight here, I think the home side will earn their first win in six games. 2-1

Barry‘s prediction: Groningen have internal struggles, a non-charismatic trainer who is already known to be no longer manager next season, causing stress in the dressing room.

NAC collect points here and there. Nevertheless, I think that the home advantage will help Groningen. 2-1 

Tip: Both teams to score.

Saturday 24th February

AZ v Sparta

Click to enlarge this piece showing AZ striker Wout Weghorst!

Michael’s prediction: After disposing well of NAC Breda, AZ’s attack seems back on form after disappointing home draws with Roda and VVV.

With Feyenoord eight points below AZ and facing PSV this weekend, AZ must seize this opportunity at home to Sparta to set the pace for third position.

I thought Sparta were workmanlike against Twente, and on an unluckier day could have lost easily. I think they’ll concede far too many chances here. However, AZ are an open side, and Sparta might end up being involved in a game of many goals. 4-1

Barry‘s prediction: AZ have been sparkling this year. A fresh group of players, with John van den Brom as trainer with targeted, fun football. Sparta have Dick Advocaat, a very experienced trainer, who will try to disrupt AZ, but I think that the players of Sparta are not equal to the qualities of AZ. 3-0 

Tip: Over 2.5 goals.

Heerenveen v Excelsior

Michael’s prediction: Heerenveen gave a decent attacking performance to earn a draw at PSV. They could have won had they not gifted two simple goals away.

After only recording two away wins in the whole of last season, Excelsior already have six this term – a tricky proposition for many Eredivisie sides. A very likely candidate for both teams to score. 1-1

Barry‘s prediction: Heerenveen have a nice team, but their results are always surprising. Sometimes they come out very well, but collective off-days are also around the corner. Excelsior are gradually becoming an opponent to be reckoned with. Giant killer is not the right name yet, but they surprise enough. Nevertheless, I think that Heerenveen won’t be put in the works, and Excelsior will just be happy with the win at Vitesse last weekend. 2-1 

Tip: Both teams to score.

Heracles v PEC Zwolle

Michael’s prediction: Heracles will give PEC a good game here. It’ll be played all on the ground and we’ll see a return to the neat and tidy football that we’ve come to expect from Zwolle, something we didn’t see against Ajax.

Heracles have lost some key midfielders which could be costly against John van ‘t Schip’s men whose best players dominate the midfield.

A potentially typical Dutch football match awaits and I think the visitors will snatch it. 2-3

Barry‘s prediction: Heracles at home is always difficult…a nice crowd, annoying synthetic grass and individually good footballers. PEC Zwolle surprised many people with great football and good results before the winter break. But after the winter break they are still looking for the right form. Hard to predict, therefore the golden mean: 2-2

Tip: Over 2.5 goals.

VVV-Venlo v Vitesse

Barry Pirovano’s artwork of Vitesse captain Guram Kashia.

Michael’s prediction: Another good game to look forward to on Saturday…VVV play well at home and Vitesse play better away from the pressure of their stadium.

Vitesse have some injuries and suspensions to take care of too, which I think will weaken them a little for this trip. VVV are a highly motivated team at the minute, which could see them pick up at least a point. They should play on the counter and wait for the Arnhem side to make mistakes in their build-up play. 2-0

Barry‘s prediction: VVV mainly get points in away games. But against Vitesse there will also be opportunities at home, in their nice stadium with those high stairs. I wonder if Clint Leemans can find the net again? Vitesse have the better selection of football players, but that does not always ring true: winning against Feyenoord, but losing against Excelsior. This can go in any direction. 1-1

Tip: VVV double chance.

Sunday 25th February

Ajax v ADO Den Haag

Michael’s prediction: Ajax can close the gap to PSV to two points, as the league leaders play later in the afternoon away at Feyenoord. That should be enough incentive to see off ADO, but the visitors will come with some fire in their bellies – it is still a derby afterall.

Alfons Groenendijk is doing a great job in The Hague, but even though I think ADO will run Ajax close in some phases of the match, Ajax will get the job done thanks to all their flair players. 2-0

Barry‘s prediction: Ajax are in the pursuit of PSV. In the knowledge that PSV must go to Feyenoord and can lose points, Ajax will have to go again. They can also increase the pressure on PSV by winning, as PSV play two hours later. ADO Den Haag play nice football, and can reach to a great height, but they will not surprise at the ArenA. 2-0

Tip: Ajax -1.5 Asian handicap.

Willem II v Roda JC

Michael’s prediction: The bottom five of the Eredivisie are separated only by five points. Willem II, in 14th, play Roda, who are 17th. On paper, Willem II are better and at home you would think they should beat the Kerkraders – especially when you consider that the visitors are without a clean sheet since October. 2-1

Barry‘s prediction: With Sol and Ogbeche, Willem II have the strikers that can score anywhere and anytime. Totally Sunday afternoon, sun, beer for the supporters in Tilburg. I fear that it will be a difficult afternoon for Roda JC, who must take points in the fight against relegation. When they put a lot of battle into the game, they will give themselves a chance. But can they do that? 2-0

Tip: Both teams to score.

Feyenoord v PSV

Feyenoord’s Steven Beghuis by Barry Pirovano

Michael’s prediction: Feyenoord v PSV screams a top match in the Netherlands. However, Feyenoord this season have spent more time peering down below them in the table, sitting in a precarious fourth. They have been unlucky at times this campaign with injuries and suspensions, but that’s not their only reason for their inconsistency.

Ajax fans will be backing Feyenoord for once that afternoon. This is still a tough test for PSV, who have hardly swept teams away with their mediocre football.

I think this could end up being a low quality game, which would be a sad reflection on the Eredivisie. Both teams to score is likely. Whether or not PSV can scrape another win here or not is a difficult question, but I think it’ll be a second successive draw for them here. 1-1

Barry‘s prediction: Feyenoord will want to show off against the leader, during this difficult season for them. But where they were almost untouchable last year, they’re not finding it easy to perform this year. PSV, however, will play as a champion, by winning many matches in the last minutes. How will it go without top scorer Lozano in the stadium where it can be a ‘hell’? Sneaky victory. 0-1

Tip: Both teams to score.

Utrecht v Twente

Michael’s prediction: Utrecht have lost twice at home in the last 17 months (against Ajax and PSV) and Twente sit a lowly sixteenth, having scored only four times in their last eight games.

I wrote a piece on FC Twente last weekend about how Gertjan Verbeek’s introduction as manager has not had the desired effect. They will have another tough afternoon here. In the long term I’m not sure how they’ll stay up – but it’s vital for the club that they do. 2-1

Barry‘s prediction: Jean-Paul de Jong is surprisingly good as the new trainer of Utrecht, the team has been unbeaten since the winter break. Gert-Jan Verbeek’s performance is surprisingly disappointing with FC Twente. With players like Assaidi and Maher you should be able to build a good team, but Verbeek does not seem to get any swings in the team. FC Utrecht have with Labyad someone who always comes to the fore. 3-0 

Tip: Utrecht draw no bet.

Agree/disagree with our predictions and betting tips? Did we win/lose you a fortune? Tweet us!

How has Michael done so far?

[Crypto’s success from weeks 1 to 14 – 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: 3 results // 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] writer Alex Moretto)

Week 18: Michael: 4 results, 2 correct scores (versus Piłka w Holandii writer Adam Sankowski)

Week 19: Michael: 3 results (versus Bristol City Women defender Danique Kerkdijk)

Week 20: Michael: 3 results (versus FC Groningen clubwatcher Merijn Slagter)

Week 21: Michael: 4 results (versus Total 14 Football Academy director Craig Hellier)

Week 22: Michael: 5 results (versus Football-Oranje writer James Rowe)

Week 23: Michael: 4 results (versus alternative-rock band Nemesea)

Week 24: Michael: 3 results, 1 correct score (versus Brentford winger Florian Jozefzoon)




Michael Statham (325 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.