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 Norwegian commentator Paul Thomas Clay, who commentates on the Eredivisie, amongst other competitions such as the Champions League, for Viasat.

  • by Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter @EredivisieMike
  • Follow Paul on Twitter @ptclay

Friday 16th March

Excelsior v ADO Den Haag

Michael’s prediction: I don’t anticipate a goal-fest between these two sides this Friday night. Although the shackles are definitely both off for both Excelsior and ADO Den Haag – as they sit in mid-table. Tricky to call, so a draw is my easy way out! 1-1

PT‘s prediction: A mid-table clash kicks off the Eredivisie weekend. While Excelsior will be happy to have put the threat of relegation all but behind them, ADO must stop the rot if they are to challenge for the Europa League play-offs. The visitors with only ten out of a possible 27 points in 2018. 1-2

Tip: Both teams to score.

The thing that has struck me the most this season is the lack of consistency among teams, both top and bottom. Predicting the outcome of Eredivisie games has been particularly difficult compared to games in Ligue 1, Serie A and La Liga (the other leagues that I work with). I say this partly to cover my own behind in case my predictions prove to be completely wrong… – PT Clay on this weekend’s fixtures.

Saturday 17th March

Twente v Willem II

Michael’s prediction: Twente lost yet again last Friday, making it six defeats out of their last eight league games. They still show good endeavour and creativity in attack but their wobbly backline has been their Achilles heel all campaign.

This game at home to Willem II is surely their last chance to avoid finishing the season in the bottom three. The Tilburgers are eight points ahead of Twente in 15th, the last safety spot. That gap was surprisingly extended last Saturday after the managerless side smashed league leaders PSV 5-0 – what a shock that was.

Can the visitors continue that form here? Difficult to say given their whole season but their confidence will be much higher than Twente’s. I think we’ll see alarm bells ringing at full-time for one of the biggest clubs in the Netherlands. 1-2

PT‘s prediction: Twente’s last victory (in the Eredivisie) came over three months ago (eight points/twelve games). Their sole mission now is to keep Roda behind them for the rest of the season. Willem II only slightly better off since mid-December (eleven points/twelve games), but pulled off “that result” against PSV last weekend. Huge confidence boost for the boys from Tilburg, and I would put my money on them. 1-3

Tip: Both teams to score.

PSV v VVV-Venlo

Michael’s prediction: Speaking of the league leaders, they play shortly after on Saturday evening. Phillip Cocu will have given his players the ‘hairdryer treatment’ at full-time last weekend and you would expect a reaction here.

At home, we all know just how strong PSV are. VVV are good at frustrating teams away from home, but unless there’s another disaster-show from PSV, proceedings should be comfortable. 3-0

PT‘s prediction: I feel really sorry for VVV having to deal with a PSV coming off the shock of the season against Willem II. Don’t think VVV would have stood a chance anyway, and certainly not now. 4-0

Tip: PSV -1.5 Asian handicap.

Vitesse v Heracles

Michael’s prediction: I watched Vitesse crumble hopelessly at Utrecht last Sunday. Their season has been filled with extraordinary highs (beating Feyenoord and Ajax) and lows (losing to amateur side Swift in the Dutch cup). Their season is over, but at least fans can relish the fine form of Chelsea loanee Mason Mount – a quality player in their midfield.

Heracles are producing some good results as we reach the latter stages of the season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Brandley Kuwas important again for the visitors. They will enjoy the space on the counter-attack. 1-3

PT‘s prediction: Vitesse’s rollercoaster season continues. Big wins followed by bad results and performances. Only two times have they managed to win back-to-back games this season. The good news is that they haven’t lost two in a row (yet), and they lost their last game. Heracles are on a roll though – four wins in the last five games. This should be a tight game. 1-1

Tip: Heracles double chance.

Heerenveen v Utrecht

Michael’s prediction: I think there will be goals here. Two nice footballing sides to watch on a Saturday evening should produce plenty of action. Over 2.5 goals a must – or more if you’re brave.

Utrecht are the better quality team but Heerenveen are dominant in possession in their own stadium. A game that could easily swing either way on the night. 2-2

PT‘s prediction: Heerenveen is the team I follow the closest of all Eredivisie teams because of their Norwegian influence. They should do far better than the 11th place they’re currently occupying. A lot of quality elements in both the squad and the way they play, but they can’t seem to put the pieces together. Utrecht (in my mind) is only slightly better (on paper) than Heerenveen, but are stronger mentally and collected 33% more points this season. I predict an early lead for Heerenveen, with Utrecht winning the game deep into injury time. 1-2

Tip: Over 2.5 or 3.5 goals.

Sunday 18th March

AZ v Groningen

Michael’s prediction: It was a shame to see AZ not play to their best against a fellow top-side yet again. They lost 2-1 to Feyenoord, and were unfortunate not to get more out of the match, but equally allowed Feyenoord to control the second-half.

Back to business against Groningen though. An out of form team but they did beat PEC Zwolle last time out. I think AZ will return to their fluent best and bag a few goals in Alkmaar. 3-1

PT’s prediction: AZ is the team with the best Norwegians in the Eredivisie. So happy to see Svensson and Midtsjø not only being allowed into the first team, but also being key figures for AZ in their great season. AZ have had a good start to 2018, Groningen a bad one. They lost and won their first games of the year respectively last weekend, and my bet is that the home team will hit back hard at the cost of the visitors. 3-1

Tip: Over 2.5 goals.

NAC Breda v Roda JC

Michael’s prediction: NAC got a little lucky last weekend in their win at ADO. The referee made a poor red card and penalty decision. However, Thierry Ambrose and Umar Sadiq are two decent, young Eredivisie-level strikers that offer NAC that little bit more threat.

They could put Roda out of the relegation picture almost completely here. A defeat for the visitors and you would expect them to surely finish bottom of the table come the end of the campaign. I think they’ll throw a little more caution to the wind here but end up with a draw. 1-1

PT‘s prediction: NAC are not quite out of the woods yet, but things are looking better and better. Only three points separated the two teams five matches ago, now it’s ten. Roda rock bottom and chances of staying up are starting to run out. This match will end in NAC’s favor, but not by mutch. 2-1

Tip: Roda double chance.

Sparta v Ajax

Michael’s prediction: Back-to-back wins have given Sparta a glimmer of hope in surviving relegation. Anything here is a bonus. On a cramped pitch with plenty of stubborn defending – who knows?

Ajax still aren’t back to their best, but players who had been disappointing such as Justin Kluivert had a good outing against Heerenveen last time out (4-1). I think here the Amsterdam side will get their noses in front fairly early, which will make the game much easier. 1-4

PT‘s prediction: Seems like Dick Advocaat’s methods are starting to work. Two important wins lately, especially the one against Roda. Confidence on the rise, but shouldn’t be enough against an Ajax side that thrashed Heerenveen last time out. 1-3

Tip: Over 2.5 goals.

PEC Zwolle v Feyenoord

Michael’s prediction: Neither of these teams are playing their best football, but still sit in the top seven of the Eredivisie. I can see this being a low-scoring affair which Feyenoord will edge. PEC may fire up their performance with the visit of such a big side, but after defeating AZ, Feyenoord will want to continue their momentum as they approach the Dutch Cup final. 1-2

PT‘s prediction: PEC Zwolle’s form of 2018 is a mystery. Losing three games before Christmas was more than OK, losing six in eight since late January is a catastrophe. A huge task to turn it around against the reigning champions, but Feyenoord’s lack of consistency might be something PEC Zwolle can exploit. I don’t think they will though, and this will end in a draw. 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 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)

Week 25: Michael: 3 results (versus football artist Barry Pirovano)

Week 26: Michael: 5 results, 1 correct score (versus commentator Michiel Teeling)

Week 27: Michael: 4 results, 1 correct score (versus Football-Oranje writer Alex Royal)

Michael Statham (808 Posts)

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