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, 16th September

FC Utrecht v NEC Nijmegen

Utrecht will be aiming to make it three wins from three and push up into the top six by Friday night. Having watched their last game with Vitesse – a boring 1-0 victory – I am not convinced that Utrecht are suddenly ‘fixed’ and they will suddenly be part of a competitive-looking top five/six.

NEC will be slightly disappointed that they couldn’t turn any of their previous four draws into any wins. I think the visitors have a chance of stealing a good result. There will be some good battles, with goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen in good form versus Utrecht striker Bas Dost (former Netherlands teammate) who has scored five in six since returning to the Eredivisie.


Saturday, 17th September

Sparta Rotterdam v FC Groningen

So far, Sparta have won two, drawn one and lost three – against AZ, Ajax and Feyenoord – of their opening six fixtures. Having seen both of these sides in action this season, I think that Sparta are a notch above what Groningen can offer.

Both are missing their Norwegian targetmen. The hosts may be without Tobias Lauritsen due to an injury sustained last weekend, and Groningen are sorely missing their recently transferred striker Jorgen Strand Larsen. They really don’t look as threatening without him, that is despite their away victory at Cambuur last time out.

No Lauritsen may mean a lack of goal threat for Sparta, and whilst I think they should pick up at least a point, there may be very few goals in Rotterdam.


Vitesse Arnhem v FC Volendam

An intriguing match awaits on Saturday evening. Struggling for form, both Vitesse and Volendam have the same records this season (one win, one draw and four losses).

After a dodgy start, Vitesse look a little more secure defensively, and their youthful new signings are producing more of a spark.

Volendam supporters on the other hand would have been growing more concerned following their home defeat to Go Ahead Eagles last Friday – a game they would have hoped to have won even in these early stages of the campaign. The “Other Oranje” have been involved in games flooded with goals, but I predict Wim Jonk to go more solidly here against a side who can struggle to break down deep defences. I think Vitesse will have the edge.


RKC Waalwijk v Cambuur

Sitting in 12th, I actually think RKC have made a very promising start to the season. They can be difficult to beat, and if they can begin to more regularly win matches they are favourites in – such as this one – then they could look to push on this season after a summer which made many believe they would be in severe danger of relegation.

Cambuur have an xG per match this season of 1.95, but they have only scored 0.67 per match. That works out roughly as 12 goals should have gone in, but only 4 actually have! The division’s lowest goal-scorers have been unlucky at times.

What also hasn’t helped for Henk de Jong’s men is Everton’s young on-loan goalkeeper Joao Virginia has looked error prone.

RKC are yet to keep a clean sheet this season – no surprise with their new-look defence – and the football gods surely can’t keep Cambuur from scoring for a sixth match out of seven this season.


Fortuna Siitard v Excelsior

Bottom side Fortuna, who started the season with such high ambitions, still haven’t hired a new head coach. They take on seventh-placed Excelsior (in the infant Eredivisie table); this is a huge game for the home side to try and win. I think they’re overdue their first three points of the season. The team has its issues at the moment, but the quality should shine through.


Sunday, 18th September

Go Ahead Eagles v FC Emmen

A match between two sides who have struggled thus far. Go Ahead picked up a vital first win of the season last time out, whilst I thought Emmen played the better football in their defeat away to Excelsior.

Filled with confidence from the last game, I think the hosts will play well again, and the visitors will have to work very hard to get a result of their own.


PSV v Feyenoord

With the Eredivisie’s top sides growing further disparate from the rest of the league, results in games like this can define a season. I think this is a great opportunity for Feyenoord.

I was originally impressed by Ruud van Nistelrooy’s start as head coach of PSV, but there have been some big moments which show that he has not yet made a difference in some pivotal games. Originally there was the Rangers disappointment, where PSV were too negatively set up. A defeat to FC Twente followed a week-and-a-half later, and points were dropped in the Europa League to Bodo/Glimt on Thursday. PSV aren’t expected to win every match they play, but it’s evident that they still struggle against sides in those 50:50 games.

To make matters worse, injuries have ravaged PSV’s front line. Three separate players have tried and not really succeeded in Luuk de Jong’s absent striker position. Xavi Simons is the only current slice of quality there next to Cody Gakpo. Imagine if Gakpo had decided to make a late summer transfer out of the club…

Feyenoord have scored 19 times in their last five games in all competitions. I have repeated that Arne Slot has impressively bedded in his 15 summer signings already, and I think they have the quality, tactics and motivation to get a massive three points in Eindhoven. I think it could be a cracking game.


Heerenveen v FC Twente

As super Sunday continues in the Eredivisie, we have two of the ‘best of the rest’. Heerenveen failed to test Ajax last weekend, but they have had a steady start.

Twente boss Ron Jans was critical of his side despite picking up a point at top five rivals AZ Alkmaar last Sunday; he thought that they didn’t create enough.

It’s tricky to predict which way this one will swing, so I will chicken out and choose a draw.


AZ Alkmaar v Ajax

AZ are one of very few teams in the Eredivisie who can give even an in-form Ajax a good game. However, despite AZ’s run of 11 games unbeaten (9 wins), I don’t see them posing a big threat.

Having seen recent games, AZ struggled to get past minnows Vaduz in the Europa Conference League on Thursday, and I thought they lacked some quality in their draw with Twente last weekend. Like PSV, AZ are also without several key attacking players; Vangelis Pavlidis and Jesper Karlsson are possibly their two best players. In fairness to Alkmaar, they are doing well results wise, but I don’t see them having the quality to get anything on Sunday.

Ajax also played in mid-week, though have had two extra days of rest following their Champions League defeat to Liverpool. They were defending for long periods in the second half and their lack of height was a major issue for them; however, they were composed when creating attacking opportunities against such a high-level opponent. Mohammed Kudus continues to impress as a striker (with five goals and an assist in his last four appearances) and Steven Bergwijn gives that extra bite cutting in from wide areas.


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

Week 5: 4/9 results and 1 correct score + 3/4 bets

Week 6: ?/9 results + ?/4 bets

Michael Statham (828 Posts)

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