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, for the special mid-week round, it’s Matt Jones, a life-long Ajax fan who is secretary of England’s Toolstation Northern Counties East Leagues – the ninth and tenth levels of the English football pyramid.

  • by Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter @EredivisieMike
  • Follow Matt on Twitter @mattjones1973

Tuesday 17th April

Twente v PEC Zwolle

Michael’s prediction: Twente are doomed. However, a win here might give them a fighting chance – but they have not won in over half a season – hence why they are doomed.

Confidence is at such a low point with the players. They fight in every game but they cannot see out results. If it was earlier in the season, I’m convinced Twente would have earnt a scrappy win at some point and it all would have turned around. It still might, but it’s looking pretty desperate.

PEC still have something to play for too, with the Europa League play-offs awaiting them. That said, they are hardly in fine form either, having conceded 17 goals in their previous six away matches – all of them defeats.

If there was ever one last good chance for Twente to make amends…this is it. Do or die. 1-1

Matt’s prediction: Two teams in poor form meet each other, Twente appear doomed to relegation while visitors Zwolle have struggled recently after a great first half of the season. The home side are desperate for the points and will sneak a rare win here. 2-1

Tip: Both teams to score.

Heerenveen v ADO Den Haag

Michael’s prediction: Heerenveen are in decent form, with three wins in their last six. They’ve picked up some good results which has surprised me given that they are now without the injured Martin Odegaard and Stijn Schaars.

Visiting ADO are also in chase of the end-of-season Europa League play-offs and will come to Heerenveen to win. It’s tricky to predict with both teams currently feeling confident. I’m going to back ADO to spring a surprise though, I think they will punish a defensive error to win the game late on. 1-2

Matt’s prediction: Two seemingly well matched sides (level on 43 points each) meet in this mid-table battle. Heerenveen came out on top in the earlier meeting this season, winning 2-1 in Den Haag and I expect a similar scoreline here. 2-1

Tip: Over 2.5 goals.

Wednesday 18th April

Roda JC v PSV

Michael’s prediction: Roda will want to make the most of PSV’s recent celebrations – will the new champions have an off-day now that the hard work is done?

In the end, you have to credit the hard work that PSV have done. They beat AZ and Ajax in their last two games to impressively seal the title. I think they’ll run on that high to win here. 0-2

Matt’s prediction: PSV will be far too strong for a Roda side that to their credit has improved recently. Although the home side badly need the points in their battle against relegation they won’t pick up any here. 0-2

Tip: PSV -1.5 Asian handicap.

AZ v Vitesse

Michael’s prediction: Both of these teams come into this one on the back of handsome victories: 0-3 and 7-0 respectively.

AZ would normally be comfortable winners here against Vitesse who, despite the sacking of Henk Fraser clearly giving them a mini-revival, have not got what it takes to beat Alkmaar on their own turf.

However, with the cup final in mind on Sunday, I think AZ may rest a couple of players here and avoid a gung-ho approach that they usually employ at home. 1-1

Matt’s prediction: My surprise team of the Eredivisie season, AZ have surpassed all expectations and seem on course for a third place finish. Vitesse are so inconsistent, either very good or very bad with nothing in between. Even at their very best they’ll be well beaten here. 3-0

Tip: Vitesse double chance.

Excelsior v Heracles

Michael’s prediction: Tenth plays eleventh but only Excelsior seem to still be plugging away to get good results as the season comes to a close. Heracles have the worst defence outside of the bottom three and have lost their last three matches in a row. I think you have to back Excelsior here. 2-1

Matt’s prediction: Two more mid-table sides meet with neither seemingly having much to play for. Excelsior have the worst home record in the division and Heracles have only won once away. I’m going to sit on the fence here and go for a draw. 1-1

Tip: Both teams to score.

Willem II v Feyenoord

Michael’s prediction: Willem II have virtually safe from relegation now whilst Feyenoord will be sure to rest players here before their cup final on Sunday. It’s almost a dead rubber game then for both sides. A relaxing evening in Tilburg could produce some low-quality, yet good entertainment. Feyenoord should still have the tools to win. 1-2

Matt’s prediction: Current champions Feyenoord have shown glimpses of their true abilities lately (winning five games in a row) after a previously underwhelming season. I expect them to be too strong for Willem II here as the visitors look to continue their good run. 0-2

Tip: Feyenoord draw no bet.

Sparta v NAC Breda

Michael’s prediction: This game is massive for both sides. Should Sparta win, they will close the gap to NAC Breda (who sit in the last safe-spot from relegation) to only three points. Lose though, and Twente (sitting in the direct relegation place at the bottom) may end up breathing down the necks of Dick Advocaat’s charges.

How can you respond to a 7-0 defeat? By moving on as quickly as possible. Sparta won their last home fixture 3-2 against VVV with a great performance. I’m sure we’ll see more of the same here.

NAC are only still in danger thanks to an unlikely home defeat to Willem II at the weekend – which I’m sure would have felt similar even to Sparta’s 7-0 drubbing – given its surprise. Let’s see how they respond too. I think Advocaat will rile his men to victory. 2-1

Matt’s prediction: A huge game at the bottom of the table as both teams look to remain in the Eredivisie next season. Both teams have been in decent form in recent weeks, picking up similar results and will share the points here. 2-2

Tip: Both teams to score.

Thursday 19th April

Utrecht v Groningen

Michael’s prediction: Utrecht are formidable at home and a Groningen away win is extremely unlikely especially given the way the visitors have played this season.

Only one win in six for Utrecht certainly reads poor form, but I’m sure they’ll have the fire power to put a very young Groningen to bed. 3-1

Matt’s prediction: The home side will look to cement their place in the Europa League places with a win against Groningen. Utrecht have lost just one home game all season and Groningen have recorded just one away win, I can only foresee a comfortable victory for Utrecht here. 3-1

Tip: Utrecht -1.5 Asian handicap.

Ajax v VVV-Venlo

Michael’s prediction: Where do Ajax go after such a poor display in their defeat to PSV? It must be very demoralising for some of their older players who have failed yet again to lift the Eredivisie title.

Considering VVV are without a win in ten games, I would be tempted to play some of the younger players such as Dolberg, Kristensen, Mazraoui and Eiting, to bring the hunger back into the side.

I see it being a low-scoring affair with Venlo trying to stifle Ajax attacks for long periods of the game. 1-0

Matt’s prediction: Ajax can struggle to get going at the Amsterdam Arena against teams from the lower half of the table (narrowly beating Heracles 1-0 in their last home match) but should be too strong for visitors VVV who come into the match in poor form. Erik Ten Hag’s side may take a while to open the scoring but will eventually come out on top. 2-0

Tip: Under 3 goals.

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)

Week 28: Michael: 5 results, 2 correct scores (versus commentator Paul Thomas Clay)

Week 29: Michael: 4 results, 1 correct score (versus Dutch football writer and analyst Alex Dieker)

Week 30: Michael: 4 results (versus Burnley’s Icelandic winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson)

Week 31: Michael 3 results, 1 correct score (versus Ziggo Sport editor Joep Smeets)

Michael Statham (762 Posts)

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