Michael Statham offers his predictions and bet365 tips for week 20’s Eredivisie fixtures. This week, Michael is taking on Jeroen Thijssen, who is the Head Football Manager Researcher for the Netherlands. In this weekend’s Eredivisie, leaders Feyenoord are taking on NEC and Heerenveen, fresh from their thrilling game with PSV, are preparing for a derby with Groningen.

  • By Michael Statham
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Friday 27th January

          Willem II v Sparta

It’s been back-to-back defeats for Willem II and they’re still struggling for goals.

Meanwhile, after playing well in games with Utrecht and AZ (yet only one point to show for it), Sparta made it past Eerste Divisie side Volendam in midweek to reach the cup semi-finals.

I fancy Sparta to walk away with all three points, as they’ve looked a bit brighter in recent weeks.

Michael’s prediction: 1-2

Jeroen’s prediction: This will be an interesting match. Both teams will want to stay clear of the relegation zone and will find a victory of the upmost importance. Both sides are where you would expect them, however Sparta is in a decline and have struggled as of late. Despite a good result against AZ (1-1) they are currently on a streak of 7 games without a win. Considering the fact that they have just had a tough deal against FC Volendam in the Dutch Cup, I can see Willem II scraping the win. 1-0

Saturday 28th January

          Go Ahead Eagles v Utrecht

Go Ahead picked up a decent point with Excelsior last time out after facing tricky games with Heerenveen, PSV, Groningen and AZ before that. What should then motivate the Eagles is that after this difficult match, they have fixtures against NEC, Roda and ADO – clubs down their end of the table.

So any points here will be considered a bonus, and I think they may achieve something given that Utrecht aren’t as much of a force away from home, plus they will be disappointed with their cup defeat at the hands of Cambuur on Wednesday.

Michael’s prediction: 1-1

Jeroen’s prediction: I consider Go Ahead the absolute relegation “favourites” and I wouldn’t consider it unlikely that FC Utrecht can finish fourth in the standings. Both Heerenveen and AZ won 1-3 in Deventer. I expect a similar result. 0-2

Tip: Both teams to score 7/10 (click the bet365 banners to find out more…)

         Roda JC v Excelsior

This is a huge match for Roda. It is a winnable fixture for them, and their only other victory this season was against Excelsior.

Excelsior have some decent footballers, and the addition of Jordy de Wijs from PSV will strengthen their back-line.

Both will be desperate to win, but even more so not to lose. I just feel that Roda will have that little bit of luck for once.

Michael’s prediction: 2-1

Jeroen’s prediction: Normally, I’d predict an easy Roda JC victory, but how they struggle to find the net. A tally of just eight goals and a miserable two goals for top goalscorer Adil Auassar. I do think there will be a goal somehow. Excelsior play some refereshingly nice football. I see them ending up in 16th position, or perhaps just slightly above the play-off region. I expect they will clinch a point in Kerkrade. 1-1

         Heracles v PSV

I think Heracles will be in for another defeat here, due to PSV’s upturn in potency in front of goal, which must be put down to Marco van Ginkel’s arrival.

The home side will play some good football as always, but will not be able to contain the Champions for too long.

Michael’s prediction: 1-3

Jeroen’s prediction: This is a tricky one. Have PSV finally sorted things out? It was spectacular against Hereenveen. PSV should have a few walkovers during the season, but somehow they have failed to score or win by bigger margins. However, during the previous matchround they finally netted four goals, yet they did have to concede three. I noticed that Heracles seems to lose most of the games against the top sides and PSV generally win in Almelo (11 out of 16 times). 0-2

Sunday 29th January

          Heerenveen v Groningen

Heerenveen were outstanding in Eindhoven, particularly Reza Ghoochannejhad, who was full of energy and potent with his chances.

It’s a shame though that Stijn Schaars wasn’t fit to play his former club, as he would have added that little bit more steel to the midfield and defence that may well have prevented at least one of those goals conceded. It is Heerenveen’s ultimate ongoing weakness, but Schaars has been a fix for that when he is fit.

I thought Groningen were pretty average against Vitesse and I don’t believe they had a shot on target the entire game (their goal was an own goal).

The visitors will have to be at their very best to beat Heerenveen. On occasion in this campaign they have taken apart teams for fun away from home, and there is no doubt they have improved massively since August.

I’m backing the home side to end Groningen’s four match unbeaten run.

Michael’s prediction: 2-1

Jeroen’s prediction: Let’s hope we will see a classic, exciting derby with great football and the occasional player going slightly over the edge. I expect FC Groningen to pass N.E.C. for 9th position, but this won’t happen in Heerenveen just yet. Heerenveen have a great squad; Zeneli and Larsson are hot and they have Reza Goal-channejhad up front. 3-1

Tip: Over 2.5 goals and BTTS 20/21

          Ajax v ADO Den Haag

Ajax should win this one comfortably so long as they don’t avoid complacency. They need to be patient but once the first goes in, a few more should follow.

I still don’t think ADO are a bad team, they just need a couple of reinforcements and a few games unbeaten to build some confidence. The state of the club’s ownership probably doesn’t help either.

Michael’s prediction: 3-0

Jeroen’s prediction: ADO beat Ajax in 2010 and it was a draw in 2013. The Hagenezen only lost by one goal in 2014 and in 2015 so a shocker is definitely possible. However, ADO are currently in such a terrible state that I really cannot imagine it happening right now. We may see them start out well and taking control of the game for the first 15 minutes. As the game progresses and whether or not aided by a red card Ajax will seize control and win this easily. It’s the individual quality of some of the Ajax player that will see them come out on top. 4-0

         Vitesse v AZ

Vitesse’s players and manager were disappointed they couldn’t beat Groningen last time out, as they want to prove they are one of the better sides in the division. However, they’re struggling to do that as they either gift easy goals away or don’t score enough goals to kill off opposition.

AZ are an example of one of the said better teams in the Eredivisie but have struggled for fluency in their last few games.

They got away with their win over Go Ahead, were quite flat in their match with Sparta but the cup performance against Heerenveen was more solid (albeit unspectacular). If they don’t raise their game even more for this one, they will be beaten by a hungrier Vitesse.

Michael’s prediction: 1-1

Jeroen’s prediction: I hope this will be an exciting, captivating match. I have found myself slightly disappointed by both sides. Vitesse have dropped quite a few points and AZ is just so unstable. A phenomenal win over Zenit, and a massive loss the next game to Feyenoord. I think the current situation with manager Van de Brom is not helping out either. Nakamba should be back for Vitesse. 3-2

Tip: BTTS at 8/13.

         PEC Zwolle v Twente

Am I tempted to tip PEC to win again? Twente haven’t won on the road since October whilst Zwolle are on a mini-high at the moment.

I can’t see Ron Jans’s men being defeated here as they should carry a certain solidity typified by a Jans team. Although Twente’s young, attacking talent might be tricky to contain.

Michael’s prediction: 2-2

Jeroen’s prediction: This should be a good game too. PEC Zwolle have been playing well, and show some nice football. They matched Ajax well for most of the match and had a decent night against ADO Den Haag. There will be ample opportunity against FC Twente. It really is absurd that Ron Jans’ formation is as far down the table as the 16th place. It’s tight and I am expecting them to gain a few places before the end of the season. FC Twente will be a tough side to break though. Usually this meeting turns out as a draw (3 wins for Zwolle, 5 wins for FC Twente and 7 draws in total) and I think it will be a draw again. 1-1.

Tip: Over 2.5 goals at 4/5.

         Feyenoord v NEC

I took a peak at Feyenoord’s fixtures and noticed that all the easier games seem to be coming now and that they will play the other four members of the current top five between the end of February and the beginning of April. That will be a crucial time for the league leaders, as much as it is to keep gaining three points now in order to build up a cushion for that run of games.

NEC won’t have the quality to trouble a pragmatic, experienced and determined Feyenoord.

Michael’s prediction: 2-0

Jeroen’s prediction: Nothing bad needs to be said about NEC but they will cut short looking at individual quality. The Nijmegen side can consider itself lucky to be in the 9th spot. I don’t expect them to drop down the league much further, but they won’t be able to deal with the quality of the current Feyenoord side. 2-0

Tip: Jorgensen to score at 8/11

Accumulator for all nine winners with a £10 bet returns: £11,909.60

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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 (versus writer Michael Bell)

Week 17: 2 results (versus writer James Rowe)

Week 18: 5 results (versus Aston Villa player Leandro Bacuna)

Week 19: 5 results

Michael Statham (812 Posts)

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