Michael Statham offers his predictions and bet365 tips for week 24’s Eredivisie fixtures. This weekend, Michael is taking on Dutch commentator Mark van Rijswijk, who is a very familiar voice in the Netherlands on Fox Sports’ coverage of the Eredivisie. Both Michael and Mark will be offering their predictions for games such as Heerenveen v Roda, which Mark will be commentating on, and the ‘topper’ between Feyenoord and PSV.

  • By Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter @EredivisieMike
  • Follow Mark on Twitter @markvanrijswijk

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Friday 24th February

          ADO Den Haag v Twente

Even though they lost again, ADO hardly embarrassed themselves in their narrow 0-1 defeat to Feyenoord.

Alfons Groenendijk, the new ADO manager, is noticeably starting to have his effect on the team. That said, there is still a significant lack of goal threat.

I found that Twente created enough chances to comfortably beat Heerenveen last weekend, so it was a shame that the game was decided by an unjust penalty. The lack of chances converted does still show you though that Twente have an issue scoring enough goals. Thus I think there won’t be much in this one.

Michael’s prediction: 1-1

Mark’s prediction: I commentated on the ADO – Feyenoord game last week. I really liked the new team Fons Groenendijk put in place at ADO. A much better organisation that really made life difficult for Feyenoord. The big problem for ADO is scoring goals, however. 3 goals in the last 9 games tells the whole story. So I won’t be expecting a high scoring match, probably a low scoring draw. 1-1

Saturday 25th February

           Groningen v Utrecht

There are two ways of looking at Groningen’s form: only two defeats in 12 (to Ajax and Feyenoord) or winless in five.

Ernest Faber’s influence on the team is now evident, they’re difficult to beat, both mentally and tactically. Draws turned into wins next season could tell a different story for Groningen.

For now though, they must put up with a very decent Utrecht side who are hot in the hunt for fourth spot. However, I must not get too carried away with the away side’s last match, as that was at home where they play much better.

Michael’s prediction: 2-2

Mark’s prediction: When these two teams meet it’s always entertaining. It’ll be a great tactical battle between Faber and Ten Hag. But FC Groningen is probably the only team that has less quality then before the winter transfer period. Losing Hateboer, Rusnak and Hoesen and not getting decent replacements for them, will cost them points in the second half of the season. Ten Hag has once again created a really impressive team that in my opinion will be one of the most serious contenders for the European places this season. 1-3

Tip: BTTS at 7/10. (click the link or the bet365 banners to find out more…)

           Excelsior v Willem II

Another red card for Jurgen Mattheij has cost his side dearly in the fight against relegation. However, Excelsior still aren’t doing too badly.

That’s why I’ll back them to win here. It’s a little against the form book, but Willem II won’t turn up in Rotterdam to play free-flowing football. It’ll be low scoring and scrappy.

Michael’s prediction: 1-0

Mark’s prediction: Excelsior is in serious trouble. Some silly red cards cost them in the last couple of matches and the team is conceding way too many goals. Even the arrival of Warner Hahn, a great prospect, as a new goalie hasn’t helped yet. Willem II is difficult to predict this season. No real consistency but they’re getting their points and won’t be in any relegation trouble, which is a big plus. Erwin van de Looi has performed really well at FC Groningen but hardly got any credits there. This season he’s steering Willem II to safety with ease, so he probably deserves more credit than he’s getting right now. 1-2

Tip: Under 2.5 goals at 7/10.

            NEC v Sparta

NEC have steered away from relegation trouble lately, which means Peter Hyballa may begin to experiment a little with his tactics.

Whether or not that’ll suit Sparta is unknown, as they’ve struggled to find points from anywhere the past few months. It’s now one win in 17 league games for Alex Pastoor’s men, after last week’s draw with ten man Groningen.

Sparta do fight well though, and NEC have hardly been consistent this season.

Michael’s prediction: 1-2

Mark’s prediction: Peter Hyballa is one of the most interesting coaches in the Eredivisie right now. It’s a great thing that a foreign coach with different ideas gets a chance. It’s obvious his methods take time so there has been no real consistent form at NEC. But they’re as good as safe and he’ll be getting closer to getting the team to play as he likes every week. Sparta is in big trouble. The team just isn’t winning any games. If Pastoor can get Sparta to a safe place in May, it would be a great achievement. 3-1

Tip: BTTS at 4/6.

            Heerenveen v Roda JC

I can’t see this being anything other than a home win.

The quality between the sides is sizeable, and Roda should be broken down by an expansive and creative Heerenveen, who are due a win.

Roda don’t exactly have the pace on the counter either to truly trouble their opponents.

Michael’s prediction: 2-0

Mark’s prediction: Roda won last week but it wasn’t a great performance. Go Ahead Eagles were the better team and Roda just got lucky. But being lucky is pretty useful when you’re at the bottom of the table. Heerenveen on the other hand is playing really good but just isn’t winning their games. Without the suspended Pelle van Amersfoort, Martin Odegaard will probably be back in the starting line-up – really looking forward to see him play. 4-2

Sunday 26th February

           Go Ahead Eagles v Vitesse

It’s a good job Go Ahead have picked up some points recently as five of their next six matches are against teams in the top half. I wonder if this run of fixtures will change the confident mood that’s currently surrounding the players.

The first, Vitesse, should be an exciting match. The visitors gave Ajax a good game last time out, and if they can bring that performance into this one, they will win.

Michael’s prediction: 1-2

Mark’s prediction: Go Ahead looks to have really turned a corner. They’re getting points and playing much better than a month ago. It’ll be interesting to see what the result against Roda does with the team. They played well, should have won but lost. So Go Ahead is still in big trouble but if Hans de Koning can keep the spirits up and keeps improving the way they play, they could surprise everyone by staying up. Vitesse has the same problem many teams in the Eredivisie have: performing consistently. They are capable of great football with players like Lewis Baker, but cannot impress over a long period of time. 2-1

Tip: BTTS at 3/4.

            Feyenoord v PSV

I find this one extremely difficult to call, so I’d already fancy a low goal tally here.

Feyenoord’s home form is formidable, having won all but two draws in de Kuip, scoring without fail.

Phillip Cocu’s PSV need a win here, but I cannot see it happening. Feyenoord have already beaten PSV on their own turf and I expect a similar, dogged performance here.

Players such as Luuk de Jong and Marco van Ginkel may be in form, but PSV’s wingers are not. The right service needs to be played into the middle but so long as Feyenoord can be compact, I think they can grab a solitary goal to defend in a raucous Rotterdam atmosphere.

Michael’s prediction: 1-0

Mark’s prediction: The big match of this week. PSV has to win to keep their championship ambitions alive. But Feyenoord away is always a difficult game for them. PSV seems to get much better results at Ajax than at Feyenoord. For Feyenoord even a draw will be a good result. It’ll keep PSV at a great distance and really only Ajax has a realistic chance to catch up to Feyenoord. Feyenoord isn’t playing great at the moment, but at home they’re incredibly hard to beat. They have a team with much experience and this will be one of their biggest tests of the season. It will be interesting to see the tactics Cocu employs for this match, considering the fact PSV has to win. Everyone is looking forward to this one. 1-1

Tip: Draw HT, Feyenoord FT at 5/1.

          AZ v PEC Zwolle

It’s a shame to see Tim Krul making so many mistakes in the AZ goal. I hope it’s only a matter of time before he refinds old form, as AZ need a goalkeeper they can trust to keep clean sheets – they’ve only enjoyed one shut out since September in the league.

Returning from France, perhaps demoralised, Alkmaar will perhaps ring the changes to be fresh and put a few goals past a leaky PEC Zwolle.

I’d back AZ to deal with the Zwolle attacking threat and bag a couple of goals.

Michael’s prediction: 2-0

Mark’s prediction: AZ has the same problem as Vitesse. A great squad, good enough to win most matches in the Eredivisie and make life difficult for the better teams. But AZ too cannot seem to get a great string of good results. They’ll qualify for the European play offs and have a good chance to win them. But the amount of matches they have to play (European and Dutch cup as well) seems to take their toll. It will be interesting to see if they can stay fit at the end of the season. After their long and hard season, it won’t be a surprise if it just fades away in the play offs. PEC Zwolle is playing much better than in 2016 and won’t be in serious trouble but won’t be climbing much up the table as well. 3-1

           Ajax v Heracles

Ajax will also be ‘cheering’ PSV on this weekend, but will be obliged to get the job done against Heracles. Any result should spur Peter Bosz’s men on to claim another three points in order to catch up with Feyenoord.

Samuel Armenteros will be the key man for Heracles, having bagged 11 goals already this campaign. He may grab a goal, but there’s a reason why the top three have been winning so many games recently.

Michael’s prediction: 3-1

Mark’s prediction: The top teams really have no problem this year against the lower placed teams. Feyenoord, Ajax and PSV have won all their Eredivisie matches in 2017. And Ajax will have no problem whatsoever against Heracles Almelo. Heracles is once again doing pretty well under John Stegeman, but I don’t see any realistic chance of them getting a result this weekend. 4-0

Tip: Over 2.5 goals at 2/5.

Accumulator for all nine winners from Michael with a £10 bet returns: £10,465.00

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How have I done so far?

Week 1: 4 results

Week 2: 3 results, 1 correct score

Week 3: 4 results, 1 correct score

Week 4: 6 results, 1 correct score

Week 5: 6 results, 2 correct scores

Week 6: 4 results, 2 correct scores

Week 7: 3 results

Week 8:  7 results, 3 correct scores

Week 9: 4 results, 1 correct score

Week 10: 5 results, 2 correct scores

Week 11: 3 results

Week 12: 2 results, 1 correct score

Week 13: 4 results

Week 14: 6 results

Week 15: 4 results

Week 16: 5 results (versus writer Michael Bell)

Week 17: 2 results (versus writer James Rowe)

Week 18: 5 results (versus Aston Villa player Leandro Bacuna)

Week 19: 5 results

Week 20: 4 results, 1 correct score (versus Football Manager Head Researcher Jeroen Thijssen)

Week 21: 4 results (versus Eredivisie tipster Crypto)

Week 22: 6 results, 2 correct scores (versus commentator Richard Connelly)

Week 23: 7 results, 2 correct scores

Michael Statham (812 Posts)

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