AZ Alkmaar head to Ukraine on Tuesday for their Champions League third round playoff against Dynamo Kiev. Kick-off is at 6pm.

AZ defeated Viktoria Plzen 3-1 after extra-time to book their place in the third qualifying round, and are now just two games away from the Champions League group stages.

Next up is a tricky tie in Ukraine against Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday with the winner then facing Gent or Rapid Vienna.

AZ have not played since their win over Viktoria Plzen with the KNVB postponing their league opener against Utrecht at the weekend in order to give them more time to prepare for Tuesday’s big clash.

Dynamo Kiev, on the other hand, struggled to a 0-0 draw at home to Desna in a league clash. It was their second league game of the season.

The Ukrainian giants are in a slump at the moment, having failed to reach the Champions League group stages since their last appearance in 2016.

Speaking at his pre-game press conference, Slot gave his side a 50/50 chance of progressing, “It is difficult to say who is the favourite. We don’t compete together and don’t play each other very often. The game is about 90 minutes, so I think 50-50 is a good odds ratio. On Tuesday we will see who is the strongest.”

Should AZ lose they would drop into the Europa League group stage.

Team News

AZ have been boosted by the return of centre-back Pantelis Hatzidiakos, who has been out injured for months. Calvin Stengs is also fit with Arne Slot having a fully fit squad to choose from.

New signing Jesper Karlsson is not with the squad.

Probable AZ line-up: Bizot, Svensson, Wijndal, Vlaar, Wuytens, Koopmeiners, Midtso, De Wit, Idrissi, Stengs, Boadu

Dynamo Kiev have a defensive crisis heading into the game with Oleksandr Tymchyk, Mykyta Burda and Denys Popov all out of the game injured. Centre-back Artem Shabanov could return though.

Former Willem II striker Fran Sol and former Telstar winger Gerson Rodrigues could feature, but are more likely to start on the bench.

Possible Dynamo Kiev line-up: Bushchan, Kedziora, Karavayev, Shabanov, Mykolenko, Sydorchuk, Buyalskyy, Shaparenko, De Pena, Tsyhankov, Supryaha

Odds

Dynamo Kiev 13/10 Draw 23/10 AZ Alkmaar 15/8

Can AZ Alkmaar progress?

Going away to Ukraine is never an easy task and AZ head into the game with Dynamo Kiev the favourites to progress.

However, the Ukrainian side is not as strong as it used to be and has defensive issues heading into the game. If AZ Alkmaar’s attack can show up, unlike it did against Viktoria Plzen, then Slot’s side definitely has a chance of causing an upset.

Myron Boadu was in good form for Netherlands U21’s during the international break and his pace on the counter could be key for AZ on Tuesday. Much will depend on AZ managing to keep it tight at the back though, and the return of Hatzidiakos could be a big boost.

If AZ fails to turn up and give this Dynamo Kiev side a good game then it is a massive opportunity wasted for the club.




admin (9465 Posts)

Follow @Footballoranje_ on Twitter