Michael Statham offers his predictions and bet365 tips for the final round of Eredivisie games before the winter break. This match-week, Michael is competing against fellow writer James Rowe to predict matches including big ties between Ajax and PSV plus Feyenoord and Vitesse. Last weekend, Michael took on Football Oranje founder Michael Bell, but lost out with five results compared to Bell’s six results and two correct scores.

  • By Michael Statham
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Friday 16th December

          Willem II v Heerenveen

Even though Willem II have kept four successive clean sheets, they have only scored once in the process.

So the home side will again line up in a defensive fashion, but Heerenveen will simply not accept a boring match. The Frisians have not failed to score in any of their eight away games this season, netting 18 times.

Manager Jurgen Streppel was not impressed with his side’s slim cup victory over amateurs Ijsselmeervogels on Tuesday, saying, “it was not bad, it was terribly bad”. Let’s see what their response is.

Michael’s prediction: 1-1

James’s prediction: I am backing Willem II to spring a surprise here. They are unbeaten in their last four games and are a good side at home in Tilburg. Heerenveen are on form having won their last two games and midfield dynamo Sam Larsson is dictating the play for them game by game. I just have a feeling that Willem II will nick it. 2-1

Saturday 17th December

          Roda v Utrecht

I think Roda are in for another defeat here having been found out by Groningen last week to end their seven game unbeaten run.

Utrecht are improving week on week and according to captain Willem Janssen, had their best first half for a long time against Heracles, they were that dominant.

The visitors will be slightly annoyed that the season is stopping for winter as they were building some fantastic momentum in the last couple of months.

Michael’s prediction: 1-2

James’s prediction: Roda JC are picking up the points with five draws in their last six games and FC Utrecht have rarely won convincingly away from the Galgenwaard this season. Roda JC are also unbeaten in the previous two home games against PSV Eindhoven and AZ Alkmaar and I tip them to gain another point at home in Kerkrade. 1-1

         Feyenoord v Vitesse

The goals are gushing for Feyenoord at the moment.

The goals are gushing for Feyenoord at the moment.

Feyenoord have scored 21 goals in their last five domestic games, the narrow defeat to Fenerbache looking only like a minor blip to their season.

With Ajax still involved in Europe after winter, the Rotterdammers chances can only be boosted to win the title.

I think they’ll beat an average looking Vitesse fairly comfortably to round off a very impressive first half of the campaign.

Michael’s prediction: 2-0

Tip: Asian handicap -1.0,-1.5 for Feyenord at 2.000. (click the bet365 banners to find out more…)

James’s prediction: I think that Feyenoord will continue their solid home form against a decent outfit in Vitesse. Lewis Baker has been playing well for Vitesse of late and is growing in influence and making his name in the Netherlands. Feyenoord will be full of confidence after a resounding 4-0 win in Alkmaar last weekend. 3-1

         Twente v AZ

I’d have this down to be an entertaining fixture as Twente will be buzzing after beating Ajax and AZ will be keen to make up for their disappointing display against Feyenoord.

This is tricky to predict, but at times this season, John van den Brom has made mistakes with his team selection and tactics. In my opinion, his forward and midfield selections seem random and hardly backed up by tactical reasoning.

AZ are a very good side but should definitely be expected to push on to finish fourth after Christmas. I think the break will help them, as they’re looking a little out of juice this month, despite some entertaining games.

Michael’s prediction: 2-1

Tip: Both teams to score at 1/2.

James’s prediction: I am going for a draw here. FC Twente are a very competent side at home and have surprised people sitting in seventh place in the Eredivisie after much upheaval behind the scenes in Enschede. Turkish loanee Enes Unal has been chipping in with the goals and I think he will score in this game. AZ Alkmaar’s fantastic victory at home to Zenith St Petersburg has taken a lot out of them as you could see against Feyenoord last weekend. 2-2

Sunday 18th December

         Excelsior v NEC

Excelsior will, as usual, work hard and plug away in this fixture, but their problem is that their top goalscorer has only four goals this season. They are difficult to predict because of the lack of reliability from their forwards to score goals.

They have been involved in plenty of goal-laden games recently though. There have been 21 goals in their last five matches.

That would have suited NEC in the early part of the season, but they have become more of a reserved side since then. Then there’s their away form which is truly atrocious, with only one win on the road in 2016.

Michael’s prediction: 2-1

James’s prediction: I am tipping Excelsior to win here. Their confidence is up since winning the Rotterdam derby and they have only lost one of their last four games. NEC Nijmegen had a solid home win against a troubled ADO Den Haag last weekend but they are also too inconsistent. 2-1

         ADO Den Haag v Sparta

ADO suffered another crushing defeat on Wednesday.

ADO suffered another crushing defeat on Wednesday.

You have to worry for ADO. Before the form was an issue, but now owner uncertainty seems to be affecting the manager and the players (despite no word of it) as defeats are getting heavier. Even captain Tom Beugelsdijk was all over the place on Wednesday against Feyenoord.

Sparta will be keen to take advantage but they’ve lost some verve recently so I’ll plump for a draw.

Michael’s prediction: 1-1

James’s prediction: Worrying times for ADO with manager uncertainty, four consecutive defeats and up against a Sparta Rotterdam who hardly look as if they have been away in the Eredivisie. I thought Sparta Rotterdam were unlucky to lose at home to Vitesse last Sunday and they are due an away win at some point. 1-2

         Groningen v Go Ahead Eagles

Only one defeat in six (to Ajax) represents much better form for the northerners. The goals are flowing and it’s looking much tighter at the back too. Ernest Faber is turning it round.

Meanwhile bottom side Go Ahead have suffered four defeats on the spin. Only one outcome is likely.

Michael’s prediction: 2-0

James’s prediction: Ernest Faber has been getting the rub of the green lately and FC Groningen are slowly but surely improving with three wins in their last four games. Go Ahead Eagles with five defeats in six will look not to be cut off at the foot of the table having lost their last four games. 3-0

         Heracles v PEC Zwolle

I think Heracles will get a win here against a Zwolle side constantly disappointing when on the verge of a turn-around in form.

John Stegeman’s men have a solid side and plenty of goal threat, PEC aren’t bad off the ball but lack a striker of good enough quality – neither Anass Achabar nor Nicolai Brock-Madsen have an Eredivisie goal to their name as of yet.

Michael’s prediction: 1-0

James’s prediction: I fancy PEC Zwolle to win here and see themselves out of the relegation places just in time before the winter break and push on up the table in the second half of the season. Heracles have won three of their last five games and they very rarely suffer big defeats at home. I just feel that PEC Zwolle know they have to win their last game before the winter break and that will give them the edge. 0-1

         Ajax v PSV

Is the disappointment set to continue for PSV?

Is the disappointment set to continue for PSV?

Both of these sides will be aching for a crucial victory. However, Ajax were pretty drab in their defeat at Twente – where Bosz seemed content with a point for much of the second half. They can turn on the style though, let’s hope that side of Ajax returns on Sunday to make this an even more interesting spectacle.

PSV meanwhile have been struggling for goals. This game almost comes at the wrong time for them seeing as the early European exit was met by further disappointment in the league.

Phillip Cocu will for sure fire his players up for this one, getting the big game mentality back into his squad that so often was the main motivator to their performances last season.

I don’t think it’ll be enough for PSV. Let me remind you of the indifferent display they put in against Feyenoord earlier in the campaign (where PSV lost 0-1). A defeat here should spark a massive wake up call to the squad and the board that this is a far more difficult season than imagined.

Michael’s prediction: 3-0

Tip: Ziyech to score at any time is 2/1.

James’s prediction: I am tipping Ajax to win and heap the pressure on a stuttering and inconsistent PSV. PSV recently were eliminated from Europe and also the KNVB Cup. They know that they have to win this game to stay in sight of Ajax and Feyenoord at the top. Ajax will look to extend their lead over PSV to six points should they win this game. I think that Hakim Ziyech will be the key man for Ajax. 2-1

Accumulator for all nine winners with a £10 bet returns: £11,178.50

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How have I done so far?

Week 1: 4 results

Week 2: 3 results, 1 correct score

Week 3: 4 results, 1 correct score

Week 4: 6 results, 1 correct score

Week 5: 6 results, 2 correct scores

Week 6: 4 results, 2 correct scores

Week 7: 3 results

Week 8:  7 results, 3 correct scores

Week 9: 4 results, 1 correct score

Week 10: 5 results, 2 correct scores

Week 11: 3 results

Week 12: 2 results, 1 correct score

Week 13: 4 results

Week 14: 6 results

Week 15: 4 results

Week 16: 5 results




Michael Statham (444 Posts)

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