Every week in the 2017/18 season, Football-Oranje writer Michael Statham offers you his predictions for each Eredivisie round, accompanied by his betting tips. Michael competes against a different special guest each week. This time, it’s Burnley’s Icelandic midfielder Johann Berg Guðmundsson, who gave an exclusive, extensive interview with Football-Oranje this week. He spoke about his experiences at AZ Alkmaar in the Eredivisie, the Premier League and internationally. You can check that out by clicking here. Johann predicts the game of the weekend, involving his former team: AZ v PSV.

  • by Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter @EredivisieMike
  • Follow Johann on Twitter @Gudmundsson7

 

Friday 6th April

Excelsior v Willem II

Michael’s prediction: Excelsior endured a hugely disappointing afternoon last Sunday when they were walloped 5-0 by local rivals Feyenoord. A home tie with Willem II won’t be easy either though – the hosts are usually better away from home and Willem II have hit some great form since Erwin van de Looi left the club.

The Tilburgers’ freak 5-0 win over PSV was surprisingly built upon with a 3-2 success against high-flying Utrecht – after coming back from two goals down. So, the confidence will be high amongst the Willem II squad.

A not so glamourous fixture on a Friday evening, but I expect the visitors to come away with a good result. 1-2

Johann’s prediction: There’s an Icelandic ‘keeper at Excelsior, but he’s on the bench now. I think Willem II is going to beat them on the artificial pitch in Rotterdam. 0-1

Tip: Willem II double chance.

Saturday 7th April

NAC Breda v Vitesse

Michael’s prediction: Umar Sadiq, NAC’s on loan striker from Roma, has continued to impress me in attack, linking up well with Thierry Ambrose. I’ve highlighted these two players because I think that they will cause Vitesse loads of problems in defence and help them pick up more points in the fight against relegation.

I would say win here and NAC would be safe. Vitesse look awful at the moment. I said a while back that a manager should never release his plans to leave the club so early in the season. The players have consequently lost interest in Fraser and it’s showing on the pitch. 2-1

Johann’s prediction: You probably have to go for Vitesse. They’ve got some good players. My old teammate just joined them – Roy Beerens from Reading. 0-2

Tip: NAC double chance.

Roda JC v PEC Zwolle

Michael’s prediction: Despite Vitesse being so poor, it was a fantastic win for Roda to score three goals and keep a clean sheet in Arnhem. The results are coming at just the right time. Now for another do or die home fixture against PEC Zwolle.

There’s no doubt that PEC will make it tricky for Roda. It’s unlikely, in my opinion, that Roda will earn all three points. PEC play some quick football in midfield and will win the battle in this area as I believe that Roda’s weakest players are in this part of the pitch. If the away side can handle the direct style of play and in-form forwards Donis Avdijaj and Dani Schahin, then they will win. 1-1

Johann’s prediction: I’m going to say PEC are going to win there. My old teammate plays there – Dirk Marcellis – I think he’s captain now. 0-2

Tip: Both teams to score.

AZ v PSV

Michael’s prediction: This is the tie of the weekend, if not the season. Big statement but this is a true test for both sides. AZ have performed magnificently this season but have struggled against the league’s top teams whereas PSV would get one hand on the Eredivisie title if they can win here.

AZ sit third and are hot on the tails of Ajax in second place. Manager John van den Brom deserves all the plaudits coming his way for igniting a young and talented squad – just when I had my doubts about him at the start of the season. He has produced many international players who are only getting better and better.

Visiting PSV are seven points ahead of Ajax with five games left to play. Lose here and it could be a four-point gap with four to play and a meeting with the Amsterdam side to come. In short, win here and the pressure is mostly off for the champions-elect. One more big performance in a campaign that has stuttered along rather than one that will proudly live long in the memories of the PSV supporters.

PSV have been fortunate in away games already this season. Their home form is what is winning them the league at this point, mostly because of their efficiency to net chances. However, Jeroen Zoet in goal has rescued countless amounts of points for PSV on the road. Could this be another lucky getaway?

I have to say, PSV have pulled out the stops when it mattered. Take their win at Feyenoord – it was exceptional the way they played. I think they will play well again here, but AZ will too as they have a point to prove. It will be a fascinating match to watch. 2-2

Johann’s prediction: Is that on Sky as well? [Yes!] That’s a good game! AZ have been playing some really good football but PSV are on top. 1-1

Tip: Over 2.5 goals.

Watch the full interview with Gudmundsson here:

Sparta v VVV-Venlo

Michael’s prediction: Sparta will fancy a win here, given that VVV are winless in eight.

I watched Maurice Steijn’s Venlo draw 0-0 with Twente last weekend. I was disappointed to see such a flat display given their great season until now. They were hanging on for a point for most of the second-half and I think if Sparta can pin the visitors back, they should win quite comfortably. 2-0

Johann’s prediction: My old coach is there, Dick Advocaat. They are struggling to be fair. Sparta will get a win there. 1-0

Tip: Sparta draw no bet.

Sunday 8th April

Utrecht v ADO Den Haag

Michael’s prediction: Utrecht will be frustrated not to have come away from Tilburg with a win having gone 0-2 up. I think they’ll win well back on home turf. ADO won’t have the quality to break down what is normally a mean defence and get the three points. 3-1

Johann’s prediction: Utrecht are quite good at home. 3-1

Tip: Over 2.5 goals.

Twente v Feyenoord

Michael’s prediction: One win in over half a season screams relegation for what is such a great club. Twente are back to the bottom of the table, where they will stay unless they can spring a surprise or two in their remaining games.

Feyenoord have little to fight for in the league, but cup final places are up for grabs with senior players returning from injury every week. They should have the quality to see out the battle and score a couple on the counter-attack. 1-2

Johann’s prediction: My old coach was there, he just got sacked the other week, Gertjan Verbeek. Verbeek is a special man and needs his own way. He went to Germany twice – Bochum and Nurnberg. He’s not for everybody, let’s say that. There are a few old teammates playing there: Adam Maher and Steven Berghuis. Feyenoord are too strong.  2-3

Tip: Over 2.5 goals.

Heerenveen v Groningen

Michael’s prediction: A ‘derby of the north’ late in the season is sure to perk up both sets of fans after mediocre campaigns. Heerenveen are on the cusp of a Europa League play-off place, mind, and won well at Heracles last time out. They will be without Martin Odegaard though after his season-ending injury.

Groningen performed well at home to Ajax on Sunday but conceded a late goal to narrowly lose. They certainly do pick up for the big games, as they will here too, which is why it’s hard to call a winner here. I would expect goals. 2-1

Johann’s prediction: My old teammate plays there, Reza, I played at Charlton with him. 2-2

Tip: Over 2.5 goals.

Ajax v Heracles

Michael’s prediction: Considering Heracles’ poor away record this season, I don’t think we can expect any surprises in Amsterdam. The only thing stopping Ajax might be complacency but seeing as they’ve hardly convinced in their matches recently, the players should see this out and entertain the home crowd. A result for AZ against PSV might spur the players on even more. 3-1

Johann’s prediction: Ajax are going to be strong there at home. 4-0

Tip: Over 2.5 goals.

Agree/disagree with our predictions and betting tips? Did we win/lose you a fortune? Tweet us!

How has Michael done so far?

[Crypto’s success from weeks 1 to 14 – Hit Rate: 60% & Average Odds: 1.70]

Week 1: Michael: 3 results // Crypto: 5W – 3L – 1V (versus PSV-watcher and journalist Rik Elfrink)

Week 2: Michael: 7 results, 2 correct scores // Crypto: 6W – 1L – 2V (versus commentator Paul Thomas Clay)

Week 3: Michael: 6 results, 1 correct score // Crypto: 5W – 2L – 2V (versus [Ajax Daily] writer Alex Moretto)

Week 4: Michael: 4 results, 1 correct score // Crypto: 6W – 2L – 1V (versus Sky journalist Joshua Hayward)

Week 5: Michael: 2 results, 1 correct score // Crypto: 5W – 4L – 0V (versus commentator Richard Connelly)

Week 6: Michael: 1 result // Crypto: 4W – 5L – 0V (versus Football Manager researcher Jeroen Thijssen)

Week 7: Michael: 5 results // Crypto: 6W – 3L – 0V (versus Ajax Daily’s Bradley Dobson)

Week 8: Michael: 3 results, 1 correct score // Crypto: 5W – 2L – 2V (versus journalist Sjors van Veen)

Week 9: Michael: 2 results // Crypto: 4W – 4L – 1V (versus engels-voetbal’s Ferdi Delies)

Week 10: Michael: 4 results, 2 correct scores // Crypto: 3W – 6L – 0V (versus Sheffield Wednesday defender Joost van Aken)

Week 11: Michael: 3 results // Crypto: N/A (versus Football-Oranje editor Michael Bell)

Week 12: Michael: 3 results // Crypto: 7W – 1L – 1V (versus Opta Sports’ Bart Frouws)

Week 13: Michael: 7 results, 3 correct scores // Crypto: 6W – 3L – 0V (versus Football-Oranje writer James Rowe)

Week 14: Michael: 4 results // Crypto: 4W – 4L – 1V (versus Football-Oranje editor Michael Bell)

Week 15: Michael: 3 results // Crypto: N/A (versus Ajax Daily’s Bradley Dobson)

Week 16: Michael: 3 results // Crypto: N/A (versus Dutch football writer Alex Dieker)

Week 17: Michael: 5 results // Crypto: N/A (versus [Ajax Daily] writer Alex Moretto)

Week 18: Michael: 4 results, 2 correct scores (versus Piłka w Holandii writer Adam Sankowski)

Week 19: Michael: 3 results (versus Bristol City Women defender Danique Kerkdijk)

Week 20: Michael: 3 results (versus FC Groningen clubwatcher Merijn Slagter)

Week 21: Michael: 4 results (versus Total 14 Football Academy director Craig Hellier)

Week 22: Michael: 5 results (versus Football-Oranje writer James Rowe)

Week 23: Michael: 4 results (versus alternative-rock band Nemesea)

Week 24: Michael: 3 results, 1 correct score (versus Brentford winger Florian Jozefzoon)

Week 25: Michael: 3 results (versus football artist Barry Pirovano)

Week 26: Michael: 5 results, 1 correct score (versus commentator Michiel Teeling)

Week 27: Michael: 4 results, 1 correct score (versus Football-Oranje writer Alex Royal)

Week 28: Michael: 5 results, 2 correct scores (versus commentator Paul Thomas Clay)

Week 29: Michael: 4 results, 1 correct score (versus Dutch football writer and analyst Alex Dieker)




Michael Statham (438 Posts)

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