Every week in the 2021/22 season, Football-Oranje’s Michael Statham gives you his previews and predictions for each Dutch Eredivisie round.

  • by Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter @EredivisieMike
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Friday, 2nd September

Fortuna Sittard v FC Utrecht

Fortuna have been through a rocky week which started with a 1-4 defeat to Cambuur, then Sjors Ultee was sacked as head coach, then experienced striker Burak Yilmaz was reported trying to stamp his authority on training sessions before offering the players a financial award (to be paid by club owners) for a win over Heerenveen – which they lost 2-1.

Ambitious Utrecht have two points from four games – not the start expected from supporters at all. This is another big test for Henk Fraser to achieve the right balance with his team. I think this will be an interesting game with a win for either side a massive kick start, and a defeat for either causing alarm bells of panic, so I will choose a draw.


Saturday, 3rd September

Ajax v Cambuur

I would suggest Ajax have yet to be truly challenged in the Eredivisie so far this season. On a positive note for them, that allows new players to settle in and get minutes ready for the Champions League.

As I write, transfer muddles continue with the Amsterdam club, with several incomings and outgoings at this late stage. Players have missed training as they protest a move out of the club, which is unacceptable in my opinion.

Cambuur have deserved more than their four points from four games, but this is a step too high for them to challenge in Amsterdam. They don’t have the quality nor the grit to hold out even if they did take the lead. The Frisian club have looked a decent mid-table side so far though, better than what I had originally expected.

Last time out they somehow failed to score against AZ (0-1). Their open style will allow Ajax to carve them open constantly.


FC Twente v PSV

After being knocked out of Europe early and losing to Volendam in frustrating fashion, Twente responded with a fine 4-0 win over Excelsior in mid-week. Their attacking players performed well.

PSV have had a relatively straight forward start to the Eredivisie campaign – winning 7-1 on Wednesday to make it four wins from four and 22 goals scored already. Twente are a much tougher test than what they have faced, no doubt about it.

Xavi Simons replaced Luuk de Jong for the last match. Striker isn’t Simons’s natural position, but his technical ability is so strong that he is a confident and neat player to have in the penalty area; his six goals from four Eredivisie matches is a great return.

Cody Gakpo announcing that he is staying with PSV is excellent news. I had a feeling he would remain until at least January, meaning he can impress Louis van Gaal ahead of the World Cup.

This match should promise us some goals. PSV have only won once in their last six attempts in Enschede, and last season’s two Eredivisie fixtures combined gave us 13 goals!


Sparta Rotterdam v FC Volendam

Norwegian striker Tobias Lauritsen scored his first goal for Sparta last weekend; he looked dangerous throughout the game with his height and presence up top giving the defence plenty to think about.

Volendam shouldn’t be too downhearted about their 7-1 defeat to PSV on Wednesday. They still have lots to learn at this top level, almost all of the goals were from unfortunate deflections or individual mistakes, and I don’t think Brian Plat will be selected after a disappointing showing from the defender.

Sparta have looked good in these early stages of the season though, and I think they will be delighted with another three points.


Go Ahead Eagles v Feyenoord

I would be really concerned if I were an Eagles supporter. This season looks set to be a difficult one. It is early days, but I predict René Hake will continue to struggle, and even if he does eventually lose his job, I don’t think the playing squad is strong enough to compete at this level. After losing to AZ and PSV, Go Ahead took no points from Groningen or Sparta, and they have failed to score three matches out of four.

Feyenoord on the other hand look bright and lively. I fully expect them to take maximum points here. They have signed an incredible number of players this summer. How exciting, with their European campaign set to kick off, that they are able to balance the league and European commitments.

Go Ahead are always brighter at home, and Feyenoord will have a bumpy month or so ahead bedding in their new players, but I have seen enough to be convinced that Slot will make the right team selection that wins Feyenoord these three points.


Sunday, 4th September

RKC Waalwijk v Excelsior

RKC have had a steady start to the season, picking up three draws in their first four games. Being tricky to beat was their advantage last season. They will surely be targeting three points here against leaky Excelsior.

After a surprise two wins from two, Excelsior predictably (for me) came back down with a bump, losing their last two. Can they respond and take points from Waalwijk? I think RKC’s experience will get them the win here in a gritty display, but I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Excelsior score again.


FC Emmen v AZ Alkmaar

The tough start to life back in the Eredivisie continues for Emmen with another time against a top six side in AZ this Sunday. They’re yet to keep a clean sheet so far.

However, AZ played on Thursday, and they might even still be without Vangelis Pavlidis, so it is more difficult to back the visitors this time.


Heerenveen v NEC Nijmegen

The good start continues for Heerenveen. Originally the defensive record looked good but the goal-scoring looked to be an issue, and whilst they have only conceded once so far from four games, the link-up between Amin Sarr and Sydney van Hooijdonk has finally begun.

If Heerenveen can keep finding their two strikers in good areas, they will score against an interesting-looking NEC, who may go through patches of good and bad form as the season goes on – the sign of a mid-table side.


FC Groningen v Vitesse Arnhem

This is a far more winnable home game this season for Groningen than it was last season.

Vitesse – after their poor start – have responded in the transfer market by bringing in some untested teenage players. They are relatively unknown quantities at the top level, but they could breathe new life into what could have been a really dull and damaging season for the club without new faces.

There was a sign of hope in Vitesse’s rousing comeback to get a point in their 2-2 draw with RKC last weekend. The players looked delighted. This is a tough test, but one which a good Vitesse can get at least a point out of.


How has Michael got on so far?

Week 1: 6/9 results + 8/9 bets

Week 2: 2/9 results + 6/9 bets

Week 3: 4/6 results + 3/4 bets

Week 4: 4/9 results + 2/4 bets

Michael Statham (796 Posts)

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