It’s round seven of the Eredivisie this weekend and Michael Statham continues to provide his preview and predictions for each match.

eredSaturday, September 26

Heerenveen v Vitesse

Heerenveen were disappointing away from home once more in their game against NEC. They will hope to return to home comforts against Vitesse – where they won 4-1 in this same fixture last January.

That heavy defeat for Vitesse was what sparked the team from Arnhem’s revival. They were languishing in midtable for much of that campaign before an impressive streak of only one defeat in 19 matches began.

Although Vitesse this season have been equally disappointing on the road as they have yet to win away from home.

I think we will see a reaction from Vitesse following Peter Bosz’s words of disappointment despite the 3-0 success over De Graafschap. He thought his side’s tempo was “far too low”, usually he sends his team out to play high tempo, attacking football but this was arguably lacking last weekend.

Heracles knocked Bosz’s men out of the cup in midweek, however whilst the three sending-offs were poor, Vitesse did play well and were very close to winning the match in 90 minutes.

I’m going for a draw, despite the visitors missing some key men through suspension.

Prediction: 1-1

Utrecht v Cambuur

Utrecht’s loss in Tilburg looked to me like it was just a bad day at the office. Whilst one or two poor performances can be carried, many poor individual performances can’t. Louis Nganioni and Sebastien Haller were both particularly guilty. They are both young players though and they will make mistakes and learn from them.

A cup win will have helped raise their confidence before this weekend.

Cambuur are looking this last week as though they are edging to their first win of the season as they are improving. Their defence showed better resolve against Twente to earn a clean sheet and a narrow defeat in Eindhoven in the cup showed promise in attack as Bartholomew Ogbeche was back on the score sheet with two goals.

I don’t think they will return to winning ways on Saturday though, but may sneak a draw.

Prediction: 1-1

Ajax v Groningen

Back-to-back 2-0 victories in league and cup have made it a decent week for Ajax. They have been tight at the back so far this season, the amount of cleansheets they have amassed already is impressive, but the Europa League draw with Celtic coveyed a few frailties still lie in the Ajax defence.

Celtic may have “parked two buses” against De Boer’s men, but they still pinched two goals to hold on to as they exposed the Ajax back-line, especially with set-pieces.

That’s why if Groningen can get the likes of Bryan Linssen whipping in balls into the box, they can cause the Amsterdammers a lot of problems.

Linssen has been fantastic this season, a stand-out performer in a team that has yet to come to life this term. He has won several man of the match performances already as his direct dribbling, consistent crossing and dangerous shooting have been a valuable weapon in the league.

Although, as I have just mentioned, Groningen as a whole still haven’t reached their full potential this season. Their win against AZ was deserved as they created more chances than their opponents, but the match was between two teams exhausted from Europa League action.

Hence I think Ajax will grab victory if they keep playing the ball around and pressuring their visitors.

Prediction: 2-1

PSV v NEC Nijmegen

PSV suffered from a mixture of tiredness, overconfidence and poor individual performances in their loss in Almelo.

Davy Pröpper is an example of a player who ran himself into the ground against Manchester United and so had little energy to spare for the weekend. Adam Maher is a player who played poorly, he missed a golden chance in the second half to equalise, and he also hasn’t been as creatively imposing for his team this season so far.

NEC looked better in their game against Heerenveen. They created more chances which was their primary concern after struggling to score goals in their first five games. If they can mix better creativity with their already solid defence, they will finish the campaign very comfortably in mid-table.

I think the champions will be a little fresher after not playing as many key players in the KNVB Beker. PSV will wear down their visitors throughout the match and score a few goals to return to winning ways.

Prediction: 3-0

AZ v Heracles

John van den Brom doesn’t seem to know his best team at the moment as he shuffled his pack again in the cup. He also played different teams against Groningen in the league and previous to that against Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League.

With the club chasing another striker in former player Mounir El Hamdaoui, it can hardly fill first choice Vincent Janssen with much confidence. He started the campaign well but has since fell away a little. He hasn’t made as much of an impact in games in recent weeks and has consequently fallen out of the team.

Another example of a player who has lost his place is goalkeeper Sergio Rochet, and in my opinion rightly so. He is making too many costly mistakes; mishitting crosses, poor handling and weak wrists when parrying shots are some of his flaws. Gino Coutinho definitely deserves a chance to play more regular football, and I believe he will this weekend.

Meanwhile Heracles continue to fly. A win against the reigning champions and cup success signals an excellent week.

Their midfield is buzzing with flair and creativity, which is the reason for so many goals this season. Wout Weghorst is the pinnicle of an attack that is currently scoring goals seemingly for fun.

They face a team who won 6-1 in midweek, but also a team who are still low in confidence in the league. I fancy another Heracles victory.

Prediction: 1-2

Sunday, September 27

De Graafschap v Willem II

De Graafschap are still yet to win a point as they struggle to prevent goals conceded. On the other hand I noticed clear signs of improvement from their attack against Vitesse. They created several chances which is very promising compared to previous matches.

De Superboeren are playing another team who have struggled to score goals this season. Willem II did score thrice against Utrecht but they did have a man advantage for much of the game.

Perhaps form will change for one of these sides on Sunday.

Prediction: 1-1

ADO den Haag v Excelsior

Henk Fraser lambasted his side’s defence after giving away two cheap goals in Zwolle which saw them lose the game.

They have had a good start to the season performances-wise yet they don’t have the right amount of points to show for it.

The visitors are still endeavouring to add more goals to their side. Tom van Weert was clearly missing last weekend against Ajax. He and Sander Fischer return to the fold this time out as they have now served their suspensions.

I don’t think that will be enough to prevent ADO from winning this time however.

Prediction: 2-1

Feyenoord v PEC Zwolle

Feyenoord won this same fixture 3-0 only on Thursday in the KNVB Beker. They look to have improved after a disappointing outing against Roda in their last league fixture.

Simon Gustafson made his first start for Feyenoord and played well. I think it’s only a matter of time before he starts playing regularly for the Rotterdammers as he is the midfielder that the team is lacking due to Lex Immers’ and Jens Toornstra’s dips in form.

PEC were off the boil in the cup fixture and will look for a much better performance this weekend.

As long as Lars Veldwijk continues to score the goals for Ron Jans’ men, they will remain comfortably in the top half of the table.

Prediction: 2-1

Twente v Roda JC

Twente are still without a win this season. Even since Alfred Schreuder’s departure they are still winless in three games. No replacement has been found yet, the longer that wait goes on, the more Twente will suffer.

Roda played very well last time out against Feyenoord. Their battling draw showed they are not in the Eredivisie just to make up the numbers and already look very comfortable at this level.

Two teams that will have completely different levels of confidence. However I think this is the game where Twente finally earn their first victory of the season.

Prediction: 1-0

How have I done so far?

Week 1: 4 results

Week 2: 3 results, 1 correct score

Week 3: 7 results, 1 correct score

Week 4: 4 results, 1 correct score

Week 5: 7 results, 2 correct scores

Week 6: 4 results, 1 correct score

Think you can better my predictions? Please continue to comment below or tweet @EredivisieMike or @football_oranje with yours…


Michael Statham (781 Posts)

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