Every week in the 2021/22 season, Football-Oranje’s Michael Statham brings you his previews and predictions for each round of the Dutch Eredivisie.
- by Michael Statham
- To follow Miguel on Twitter @EredivisieMike
Friday, October 7
FC Groningen v RKC Waalwijk
Despite having more possession than AZ last time out, Groningen were beaten hard. A mixed start to the season could be complicated if they fail to achieve a good result at home to RKC.
The visitors’ start to the season has been much more positive. They are tough to beat, and attacking midfielder Ilias Bel Hassani has gotten better with each game recently.
Saturday, October 8
FC Volendam vs Ajax
There are only five teams that I realistically foresee in the relegation battle at the end of the season. Volendam is one of them. At the moment, I’m not sure if they will adapt to the Eredivisie quickly enough to stay on their feet. No win in five for Wim Jonk’s men.
In their last Eredivisie game, Ajax drew with Go Ahead Eagles in a poor showing, before a humiliating 1-6 loss to Napoli. Alfred Schreuder is legitimately the subject of much criticism.
Sparta Rotterdam v FC Emmen
Ten points out of fifteen is a good lap for Sparta. I’ve spread positivity for this team this season, and a home win here may push them into even higher consideration.
After four losses in a row, Emmen will be pleased with his draw and clean sheet against Heerenveen. Dick Lukkien will be looking for another shutout here, but it will be tough.
I’m betting on a low goal game, which Sparta should overcome.
NEC Nijmegen v Excelsior
10th plays 11th, but there are plenty of differences to consider between the two teams here.
NEC have more experience in their team, have home court advantage and are on a streak of six straight draws. The Excelsior have won three and lost five of their opening eight games, a team that has been fairly open this season, but toughened up to deliver a more dull performance in their latest 0-1 loss to Utrecht. He wants to manage his transition to Eredivisie football.
Giveaways can feel sweeter if followed by a win. I think NEC will get three points for the quality of their attacking midfielders.
Sunday, October 9
Go Ahead Eagles v Cambuur
A blow of confidence has hit both of these teams lately. Go Ahead has started to get some results; they have Scandinavian midfielders Oliver Edvardsen and Willum Willumsson to thank. Surprisingly, Cambuur beat PSV 3-0 last weekend.
Visitors in particular will be encouraged. It will feel like the duck has broken after underperforming his xG for goals scored and failing to score in several of his games so far this season. Because of that, I think the visiting team will secure another three points.
Feyenoord v FC Twente
Feyenoord return from Denmark on Europa League duty to play one of the top five in Twente. The Tukkers are not that strong on the road, but I think they will pose a number of problems for De Kuip: they are a well-trained team with no European commitments. I think this will play a factor on Sunday despite the home team having a small advantage over paper in terms of quality.
It’s hard to say who will start for Feyenoord in attacking positions. There are some players who have been on the bench who I think have more ability than those who have started. I really like Sebastian Szymanski; we have yet to see the best of him in the Netherlands.
I hope we have a memorable meeting in the top five! Feyenoord have been looking a bit out of place lately, so it could be a surprising win for Twente.
FC Utrecht v AZ Alkmaar
After a poor start, Utrecht have now slipped into the top half. His last performance was a dull but effective 0-1 win at Excelsior.
AZ are the only undefeated team left in the Eredivisie and are the current leaders in the league. Many would agree they won’t stay there for long, but it’s exciting to consider that the current top five are all capable of taking advantage of Ajax’s regression.
This could be the end of AZ’s streak: a tough away game where the spotlight will be on them to see what they’re made of. Pascal Jansen deserves credit for proving the doubters wrong in the fan base, and he’s dealing well with some key players injured. I am predicting a draw and a game where both teams have periods of possession and good chances.
PSV have a frantic run of tough matches ahead of the World Cup. Their ‘easiest’ came at home to Cambuur last weekend, but they lost 3-0 to Cambuur. They have injuries, yes, but Ruud van Nistelrooy is expected to be chasing the Eredivisie title (and get the better of a tough Ajax) and finish in the top two of their Europa League group. After an encouraging start in charge, van Nistelrooy is under pressure, like Schreuder at Ajax.
Heerenveen are a defensively secure team who can once again play with five behind and use their threat on the counterattack to increase the pressure on PSV. This could be a weekend of surprise results or narrow wins for some of the league’s leading stars. I think PSV will have problems here.
Vitesse Arnhem v Fortuna Sittard
In Phillip Cocu’s first game in charge of his former club as a player, Vitesse did not perform well, losing to Twente 3-0. Cocu would not have been able to change much for that game, but a week later there will be some small adjustments. Providing a creative spark will be the first job in entertaining hometown fans on Sunday night.
Fortuna arrives in Arnhem with consecutive victories, which is turning around a poor start to the campaign. There are some good players on their team, who I think can hurt Vitesse.
Because I’m waiting for a reaction from Vitesse, I’m fighting to back Fortuna to take all the points, so I’ll be looking for a draw.
How has Michael been doing 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: 5/9 results and 1 correct score + 2/4 bets
Week 7: 2/9 results and 1 correct score + 1/4 bets
Week 8: 5/9 results and 1 correct score + 3/4 bets