Following the interntional break, the Eredivisie is back! Michael Statham continues to give his preview and predictions for each Eredivisie game, along with tips offered through bet365. This weekend sees surprise package ADO travel to play leaders Feyenoord and Ajax manager Peter Bosz meets his former club Vitesse, equipped with new signing Hakim Ziyech. 

  • By Michael Statham
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Saturday 10th September

PEC Zwolle v Utrecht

After this difficult home game, Zwolle face AZ, Ajax and early in-formers ADO. So a win here carries even more importance before a frustrating season becomes certain.

Ron Jans’s side just haven’t looked the same. Their consistency has deserted them and a lot of work has to be done. Danny Holla signed on a free transfer this

Home comforts: Holla has returned to the Eredivisie following a spell with English Championship club Brighton & Hove Albion.

Home comforts: Holla has returned to the Eredivisie following a spell with English Championship club Brighton & Hove Albion.

week, he will offer more experience and defensive stability to the Zwolle midfield.

I think a point here would be decent for the home side, and may be likely, as Utrecht are also desperate for a first win of the season. I’d back the visitors to be more dangerous later in the game though, if a draw is on the cards at the time.

Utrecht need a couple more senior players back to full fitness. I think Erik Ten Hag’s current formation for his side is masking the lack of match-fit defenders.

Michael’s prediction: 1-1

AZ v Willem II

AZ have produced some wonderful attacking play in their opening matches. I would back them to continue their decent start to the campaign against Willem II.

The visitors’ 0-0 draw with Roda wasn’t a bad point to follow up their surprise win at Ajax. It was a first clean sheet and a much more solid showing than what we had seen of them.

AZ is a tougher game though, especially away in Alkmaar.

Michael’s prediction: 3-0

Tip: In-form Alireza Jahanbakhsh is 15/8 to score anytime. (Click the bet365 banner for more)


Peter Hyballa’s offensive style is always likely to be a risky strategy. That showed in his side’s first defeat of the term at AZ, where the Alkmaarers began ripping NEC’s back-line to shreds as the Nijmegen side searched for a goal later in the game.

They will for sure give PSV a game, who will be vengeful after a dismal stalemate with Groningen a fortnight ago. It was becoming less of a game of football as it went on as Groningen piled bodies behind the ball, something which will certainly not be the case on Saturday.

Michael’s prediction: 1-3

Tip: NEC are 7/1 for a shock home win.

Excelsior v Heracles

The likes of Mike van Duinen, Arghus and Danilo Pantić signed from Fortuna Düsseldorf, Braga and Chelsea respectively have displayed Excelsior’s change in attitude as a club. These acquisitions have shown that the tiny Rotterdam club mean business as they look to grow as a club.

Their immediate priority though is to avoid a third successive defeat. Their opponents Heracles have had a mixed bag of results to begin the campaign but will be hurting after Iliass Bel Hassani left the club for AZ on deadline day without a replacement signed.

I think Bel Hassani’s absence will lead to the Almelo side losing a bit of cutting edge in attack in a game they’d have fancied winning.

Michael’s prediction: 1-1

Tip: Samuel Armenteros and Lerin Duarte are 2/1 and 4/1 respectively to score in their first games since their returns to the club.

Heerenveen v Twente

Try not to be too fooled by Heerenveen’s first win of the season against struggling PEC Zwolle. Twente should provide tougher opposition.

What is a fillip for the Frisians is that Sam Larsson is staying at the club (at least until January). His frustration was evident in his shot that won the game for Heerenveen. However, he is a fine player and should be back to his best in this game, if he still wants to impress for a future transfer.

Frustrated: Larsson will remain with Heerenveen at least until January.

Frustrated: Larsson will remain with Heerenveen at least until January.

Larsson’s half-time introduction changed the game two weeks ago. His presence will be key in this one as well.

Twente will have a say too, with Yaw Yeboah and Enes Ünal itching to fill the chasm-sized hole that Hakim Ziyech has left behind. So it will be a typically open, Eredivisie encounter.

Michael’s prediction: 2-1

Tip: Over 2.5 second-half goals: 12/5.

Sunday 11th September

Feyenoord v ADO Den Haag

It’s first versus third in Sunday’s early kick-off. This will be the acid test for ADO, to see whether they are the real deal and can surprise this season.

So far, Feyenoord have scored 12 and conceded just once. Their attacking quartet are all on form, so I don’t think Eljero Elia’s injury bares as much importance as we thought.

Mike Havenaar’s ‘panenka’ penalty miss that cost his team all three points against Heracles was painfully foolish. However, it displayed Zeljko Petrovic’s side’s current confidence, if not over-confidence, which would have been sobered a notch for this match.

I think they’ll face periods of heavy pressure but I’m backing ADO to come away with an unlikely point.

Michael’s prediction: 1-1

Tip: ADO +1.5 Asian handicap at 1.875.

Groningen v Sparta

Whilst Groningen got a highly credible first point of the campaign in Eindhoven last time out, they were fortunate to do so, despite some great defending.

It may have been a totally different story had Juninho Bacuna stayed on the pitch, as although his sending-off was petty, with 11 men I don’t think Ernest Faber would have altered his side’s tactics to contain the opposition.

Anyway, one thing’s for sure, Groningen would have been boosted by that performance.

Sparta had plenty of the ball against Twente, but they were beaten by moments of pure quality from Hakim Ziyech.

They’ll be hopeful of causing the hosts more suffering, but I can see both sides settling for a draw.

Michael’s prediction: 1-1

Go Ahead Eagles v Roda JC

Jarchinio Antonia returned to his old club this week on a free transfer. It’s a decent signing as I reckon he still had something to offer at Groningen.

He’ll give Go Ahead a little more cutting edge, but I still think it’ll be an extremely difficult season for the Eagles.

Roda have been solid but not spectacular. They are an experienced side though, that may well carry that pragmatic edge to win on Sunday.

Michael’s prediction: 0-1

Ajax v Vitesse

Peter Bosz would maybe have wanted a better time to face his old side. Ajax still have work to do in order to fit back into the title race, epitomised by midfielder Richedly Bazoer, who just has not looked himself in the last month.

Hakim Ziyech’s arrival will be a huge lift for the squad. I believe he’s the best player in the Eredivisie as he oozes quality in his creativity, passing and finishing.

Traoré said he wouldn't celebrate should he score against his former club on Sunday.

Memories: Traoré said he wouldn’t celebrate should he score against his former club on Sunday.

Vitesse have the quality in attack to hurt their opponents, but I can’t see them having enough the game to cause Ajax problems, even though it didn’t take much for Roda and Willem II to come away with results already this season.

Bertrand Traoré is searching for his first Ajax goal. I’d fancy him to score against his former club and Ajax to bag a narrow, yet more convincing, home win.

Michael’s prediction: 2-1

Tip: Traoré to score and an Ajax win is 6/1.


Accumulator for all nine winners with a £10 bet returns: £25,548.20

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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

Michael Statham (813 Posts)

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