Round eight of the Eredivisie is this weekend and Michael Statham continues to provide his preview and predictions for each match, including an early potential title-decider between Ajax and PSV.

eredFriday, October 2

Heracles v Heerenveen

The wheels came off a bit for Heracles in Alkmaar. AZ ripped them to shreds particularly in the second half and deserved their 3-1 win.

The performance was a rude awakening for the squad, although they will know they can’t win every week. Injuries to key midfielders Tannane, Darri and Fledderus hardly helped either.

I think they will return to winning ways against Heerenveen though, given how poorly the Frisians have played recently, with only one win all season so far. I said last week about Heerenveen’s uninspiring form away from home, yet they played Vitesse last week at home and Dwight Lodeweges employed quite a negative side. Centre-backs were played at full-back and full-backs were played in midfield leaving the side with only the front three forward players as the only real attacking threat.

Vitesse still created numerous chances and were unlucky not to win the game. I feel as though Heerenveen are there for the taking at the moment.

Prediction: 1-0

Saturday, October 3

NEC Nijmegen v ADO den Haag

NEC took the game to PSV last weekend and were very unfortunate not to walk away with at least a point. If they can play this way again against ADO they will win the match.

Their attacking movement has improved massively since the start of the campaign when moves forward were a bit lacklustre. Now Anthony Limbombe has returned to the side they have much more impetus in attack.

Henk Fraser mirrored my thoughts about ADO after his side’s 3-3 draw with Excelsior. He thinks that his side deserve more points than they currently have and I believe he’s right.

They could go to Nijmegen and win the game as it is well in their capability. Once Duplan, Schaken, Alberg and Havenaar are all on form at once then ADO will be a very good side.

Prediction: 2-1

Roda JC v Cambuur

Roda were a little overrun by Twente last weekend and face another struggling side in Cambuur, who just like Twente look like they are turning the corner.

Cambuur created more than enough chances to win their game in Utrecht but unsurprisingly for me still couldn’t win despite scoring three goals. Their defence still has a long way to go to improve, the departure of Etienne Reijnen in the summer looking all the more important as each goal is conceded.

However just like last week I think Roda will be on the wrong end of an unexpected victory. Bartholomew Ogbeche has returned to form just at the right time.

Prediction: 1-2

Willem II v PEC Zwolle

Giving up a two-goal lead with a man extra is criminal, especially when your opponents are bottom of the table. Jurgen Streppel must have been fuming after the 2-2 draw with De Graafschap last week.

Erik Falkenburg was perhaps the only bright light for the Tilburgers as his two goals look to be sign of things to come. The 27-year-old has now netted four times this season and maybe the striker’s role is his best position.

Zwolle have been under the radar this season so far (as usual) and currently sit in fourth after succumbing to only their first league defeat of the season last weekend.

Ron Jans put it nicely after their second defeat in only a matter of days against Feyenoord – basically saying PEC are a nice club but are not one of the big boys. They win matches but won’t be challenging for the top 3 with the limited resources they have.

Zwolle do win matches like this one however, hence my prediction of an away win.

Prediction: 1-2

Excelsior v Utrecht

Excelsior are another example of a team who scored three last weekend but still couldn’t win the game.

However Brandley Kuwas again looks like he could be an answer to the questions raised following Jordan Botaka’s transfer away from the club.

Utrecht fought back well to earn a point in their previous match and sit tenth at the moment. I still think they will push on to have a good season and be comfortably in the top half. Their hopes depend now on the form of strikers Rubio Rubin, Nacer Barazite and Sebastien Haller as the defence is slowly improving, but the latter is off the boil which is disappointing given his very early season form.

Prediction: 1-1

Sunday, October 4

De Graafschap v Feyenoord

The Superboeren showed a lot of resolve to come from two down against Willem II despite probably all thinking “here we go again” when 0-2 down.

They will want to really take the game to their Rotterdam opponents on Sunday to show they can compete at this level.

Eljero Elia is a player who is finding some form in recent weeks, showing some of the nice football he played in the Premier League with Southampton. His pace causes problems and if Feyenoord can get the right service into Michiel Kramer up top, they will score plenty of goals.

Whilst I think Feyenoord are a far better side than De Graafschap, I think the home side will run them close this weekend. Feyenoord tend to labour in matches away from home.

Prediction: 1-2

Vitesse v Groningen

Dominic Solanke looks a good player who will develop into a really exciting player in the future. He has only recently turned 18 but may be starting many games in the forward role for Vitesse this campaign. He was unlucky not to score two or three goals against Heerenveen last time out.

Vitesse will want to win this game to ensure they are serious about their push to gatecrash the top three.

I watched Groningen fall to defeat in Braga on Thursday. They didn’t have anywhere near enough quality to trouble their Portuguese opponents, just like in their loss at Ajax the weekend previous to that.

Fans are calling for Erwin van de Looi to get the sack which for me is a little unfair given it was under his leadership that Groningen won their first piece of silverwear in their entire history.

However I can see why fans are frustrated. Players like Danny Hoesen and Albert Rusnak are struggling to perform and the whole side is on the whole not finding its potential.

Prediction: 2-0

Ajax v PSV

The huge match of the weekend comes at the Amsterdam ArenA as the top two of last season will look to deal a blow to each other’s respective title hopes.

PSV would be eight points behind Ajax already should they lose this game. I’m not sure if that’s a gap already too big to bridge although Ajax are certainly finding the results in the league so far this campaign to suggest they will not lose many games.

Both sides were a little disappointing in Europe midweek. Ajax could have won the game against Molde had the opposing goalkeeper Horvath not been on top form to keep out Fischer and Milik. On the other hand, towards the end of the game, Ajax gave away possession far too easily and suddenly looked like a very inexperienced and beatable side.

The champions had a game of contrasting halves in Russia. CSKA ripped PSV to shreds in the first half as the Dutch side looked poor once more like they had been in their game against NEC last weekend. Then all of a sudden in the second half a different PSV came out of the dressing room and even though the side was missing its three best players, almost salvaged a point in Moscow. Lestienne was brilliant in his side’s recovery.

I may be choosing the easy way out when predicting this, as I can’t pick a winner. A draw would suit Frank De Boer as it maintains a nice five point cushion even at this early stage of the season. Phillip Cocu will see this as a game his side can ill afford to lose.

Prediction: 1-1

AZ v Twente

AZ are back. Three wins on the bounce and 11 goals scored have given me flashbacks of last season’s exciting football.

Alkmaar’s performances against Athletico Bilbao was fantastic as they looked dangerous going forward but also very strong in nullifying the Spanish side’s threat.

Twente were hauled to victory against Roda last weekend by Hakim Ziyech as he stood out yet again.

I think Twente will snatch a point in Alkmaar as AZ may suffer a little from fatigue. I don’t think van den Brom will want to change his winning side too much, which could actually work against him.

I also think this game could produce a lot of goals.

Prediction: 2-2

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

Week 7: 7 results

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

Michael Statham (782 Posts)

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