Every week in the 2023/24 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, 18th August

Heracles Almelo v NEC Nijmegen

Heracles did go one up at Ajax last weekend before losing 4-1, but of course this match will show us much more about how they will fare in the Eredivisie this season.

NEC v Excelsior enjoyed the most ever attempted dribbles in an Eredivisie match. I think it said a lot about a lack of NEC pressing on the ball given they also conceded four soft goals. Perhaps I spoke too soon on my optimism for NEC.


Saturday, 19th August

Excelsior v Ajax

A great opening weekend victory for Excelsior with the aforementioned 3-4 win at NEC. Each of their three Swedish newcomers scored, and I like their new centre-back Casper Widell upon early viewing.

Ajax are piecing together their new team still as the transfer market remains open. I don’t think they will be known for their defensive solidity but they do create a lot of chances.


Vitesse v PSV

I watched Vitesse make a good comeback from 1-0 down to beat Volendam 1-2 in the opening game of the Eredivisie season. Matthijs Tielemans caught the eye in midfield, and there is quality amongst a couple of the other new signings, too, though I think they will need some time to adjust.

Tielemans is up against his old team PSV, where he impressed for their reserve side. Noa Lang continues to have an impressive start to the campaign. There will be decent value for an away victory here.


Fortuna Sittard v Almere City

A nice point for Fortuna away at Feyenoord and they created enough good chances to win, really.

I was right to feel worried about Almere’s prospects this season. I thought they looked like a decent Keuken Kampioen Divisie team in their defeat to Twente, but not a successful Eredivisie team. Perhaps they will take a few matches to up their level. Home win.


Go Ahead Eagles v FC Volendam

I think we’ll see a much better Go Ahead this weekend. They were strong at home last season and they have the players to show more quality than Volendam.

Volendam remain in limbo over who they will be able to select as their strongest eleven this season with a couple of key players still potentially leaving the club in Carel Eiting and Xavier Mbuyamba. They are without Robert Muhren after his red card, so I think they will struggle as Go Ahead look to respond.


Sunday, 20th August

FC Utrecht v Heerenveen

I wasn’t struck by Utrecht’s performance last weekend. As a team that are always keen on breaking into the top five, they didn’t show much ambition to get at least a point at PSV, choosing to sit back for long periods and their defenders not sharp enough to stop the concession of numerous chances (it could and should have been more than 2-0 in the end). I will admit that Tasos Douvikas proved dangerous on the counter attack, and he could be on the scoresheet here.

New Heerenveen striker Ion Nicolaescu seems confident in media interviews, and he made a blistering debut scoring a fantastic goal in the first half of a 3-1 victory over RKC. I hope we get some goals in this one, with potent strikers pouncing on defensive errors. I think Nicolaescu will come out on top.


FC Twente v PEC Zwolle

Twente just look to be settling in together as a new team after a few key player losses in the summer. Thankfully, the fixture list has been relatively kind to them in the early weeks as their focus remains on qualifying for the Conference League group stage.

An opening day defeat for PEC Zwolle made it 3/3 defeats for the newly promoted sides. In time, I think Zwolle will pick up some wins at home. Twente away is a real tough cookie though.


Sparta Rotterdam v Feyenoord

Despite a summer of change, last season’s surprise package Sparta picked up a smart-looking win at PEC Zwolle to open the new campaign. Tobias Lauritsen was a menace in the box, and he will be important if they are to get anything from champions Feyenoord.

Arne Slot’s men have had a frustrating beginning to the season, with early results not hitting the heights of what was achieved last season. With Slot at the helm, things will come good. A close away win at Sparta in the Rotterdam derby could kick things into life. Both teams to score here could be a good one.


RKC Waalwijk v AZ Alkmaar

I tipped RKC to struggle this season, and they had a really poor start when going three goals down to Heerenveen in the first half. They seem to have some firepower in Michiel Kramer, but if you can stop his threat, there’s not another reliable source for goals in this team.

AZ might want to make some changes after a European match on Thursday, but this should be a win for them.


How has Michael got on so far?

Week 1: 4/9 results

Michael Statham (762 Posts)

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