The Eredivisie is notoriously hard to predict. There is a high amount of goals scored each week, last season there was a ratio of 3.07 goals per game (the highest ratio of Europe’s top 42 leagues) and only 16 goalless draws… 

However Michael Statham will preview each weekend’s fixtures and attempt to predict the scores each week.

The first round of fixtures will be particularly tricky to call because of all the transfers in and out of the clubs. There will only be 4 Eredivisie matches this weekend but the rest of the first round of fixtures will be shifted to Tuesday and Wednesday due to police strikes in the Netherlands over Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday, August 8

Roda JC v Heracles

Newly promoted Roda’s chances of staying up this campaign will depend on their home form and how quickly new manager Darije Kalezić can bed in his ideas into the team. Games like this one, at home to Heracles, will be key in their battle to stay up.

The visitors from Almelo are beginning this season without talisman Bryan Lissen, who left for Groningen this summer. His 10 goals helped Heracles avoid relegation and was a key figure in turning around a frightful start to last season in which they lost their first 7 games. Heracles will have hoped to have replaced Linssen’s firepower with the signing of Sparta striker Paul Gladon, who has only been prolific in the Jupiler League up until now.

Heracles’ pace on the counter will be a threat to Roda if they push for a goal, which could see Heracles snatch all three points, but I think Roda will come away with a positive result in their first game back in the Eredivisie.

Prediction: 1-1

Feyenoord v Utrecht

Feyenoord have had a tumultuous summer. They have experienced a managerial change, key players leaving including captain Jordy Clasie and new players joining, Dirk Kuyt making his long-awaited return to the club. Van Bronckhorst will want to put three points on the board this weekend in order to dispel any concerns the fans might have ahead of the new season. He is still unsure what his best team is, the likes of Colin Kazim-Richards, Tonny Vilhena and Lex Immers are also unsure of their position in the team and their futures at the club.

Utrecht on the other hand can look forward to this season with a little more positivity. Erik ten Hag has instilled a new 3-5-2 formation in order to make the most of the talent at the club, and to tighten up a leaky defence.

The influence of Dirk Kuyt and Eljero Elia could be key in deciding this match. Home win.

Prediction: 2-1

Sunday, August 9

AZ v Ajax

Both of these clubs were in European action in mid-week, experiencing mixed results. Ajax were knocked out of the Champions League in mid-week by Rapid Vienna, while AZ rounded off a 1-4 aggregate win in Turkey to progress in the Europa League. The key difference between these two teams on Sunday could be the amount of rest each side has had before the match. Ajax played in Amsterdam on Tuesday whereas AZ have had to travel back from Turkey after playing on Thursday.

However AZ have been playing the better football recently and unlike Ajax are also stronger and more mature in defence. I expect the goals to be shared if AZ tire towards the end of the game.

Prediction: 2-2

Willem II v Vitesse

Vitesse also played in the Europa League on Thursday, but came unstuck against a strong Southampton side. Although there were some promising signs for them, Valeri Kazaishvili and Milot Rashica could be key players this season.

I think Willem II will finish high up the table this season, especially after signing Richairo Zivkovic on loan from Ajax, but I fancy Vitesse to nick all three points.

Prediction: 1-2

Tuesday, August 11

ADO Den Haag v PSV

The champions start this season where they ended the last by playing in the Hague. Obviously this time they will be without the likes of Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum, but it will be interesting to see if new signings Gastón Pereiero and Maxime Lestienne can hit the ground running.

ADO have yet to replace Michiel Kramer who left for Feyenoord this week. Finding a good enough replacement will be key in their hopes to avoid relegation.

Prediction: 0-2

Heerenveen v De Graafschap

It would take a brave man to bet on who will play up front for Heerenveen in their opening game. Luka Zahovic and Mitchell te Vrede are both new acquisitions picked up only this week, whilst Henk Veerman and Pelle van Amersfoort were already on the club’s books.

De Graafschap may take some time to adjust to the Eredivisie as almost all of their squad have no experience of the top flight.

So long as Sam Larsson and Luciano Slagveer are creating plenty of chances for the home side, Heerenveen will have enough to win.

Prediction: 1-0

Wednesday, August 12

Groningen v Twente

Losing 3-0 in the JC Schaal was unfair to Groningen, they played better than the scoreline suggested and had they taken their chances in the first half of the game then the game would have been very different.

Twente on the other have had a poor pre-season, losing 0-5 to Turkish side Gençlerbirliği was a particular low. It could take a while for a new-look Twente side to take shape as key players have had to be sold and new signings and youth products will take time to settle in.

Prediction: 3-1

PEC Zwolle v Cambuur

Cambuur have added a handful of exciting new players this summer and their start to the season could depend on how quickly they settle in. Valentin Berisha is a good example of that, the young Swede could become prolific in the Eredivisie once he adjusts, time will tell.

Zwolle always defy the odds to have impressive seasons each year in both the league and the cup, but losing Tomas Necid, Jesper Drost and Warner Hahn could set Ron Jans’ team back this campaign. However if Lars Veldwijk can score the goals for PEC, another good season is in store.

Prediction: 1-1

NEC v Excelsior

NEC look the best equipped of all the promoted sides. Even losing Alireza Jahanbakhsh to AZ will be easily forgotten if the home side get off to a good start on Wednesday.

Excelsior have kept their important players but have most importantly lost influential manager Marinus Dijkhuizen to Brentford. I’m not sure if new manager Fons Groenendijk has what it takes to help Excelsior push above their weight again and remain in the top flight.

Prediction: 2-0

Think you can predict the scores better than Michael? Add your predictions in the comments box below.

Michael Statham (616 Posts)

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