AZ Alkmaar head to Belgium on Thursday to face Antwerp for a place in the Europa League group stages.

Last week in FC Twente’s Grolsche Veste Stadion, AZ dominated Antwerp for most of the match but had to settle for a 1-1 draw.

AZ boss Arnie Slot admitted 1-1 is not ideal but he is still confident that his side can progress in Belgium.

Slot told his press conference, “1-1 is a result that we would not have liked in advance. We know that we must either win now or make at least one goal. But we always want to play offensive football and preferably in a way that the opponent cannot counter. Then we have to do a lot the same as last week. We can look back happily for a large part of the game.

“We responded well to the physical battle in the first leg. In addition, we played good football and that led to many chances. Unfortunately not to more than one goal. That means that we are defensively considering what things we should do differently and what should be pursued. We are ready and really looking forward to it. “

Both clubs have had a week to prepare for the second leg having not played any league matches at the weekend.

Team News

Marko Vejonovic and Bjorn Johnsen are no longer available for Arnie Slot after completing moves away from AZ while new signing Zakaria Aboukhlal is not eligible.

Young midfielder Kenzo Goudmijn has been added to the squad, while Stijn Wuytens and Ferdy Druijf are fit.

Possible AZ line-up: Bizot, Svensson, Wijndal, Vlaar, Wuytens, Koopmeiners, Ouwejan, Midtso, Stengs, Idrissi, Boadu

Antwerp will be without defender Aurelio Buta, who was sent off last week. Dino Arslanagic could be his replacement in the starting line-up.

Possible Antwerp line-up: Bolat, Arskanagic, Kristiansen, De Laet, Batubinsika, Hongla, Haroun, Rafaelov, Rodrigues, Lemkel Ze, Mbokani

Odds

Antwerp 13/10 Draw 23/10 AZ 21/10

What to expect from the second leg

This match is 50-50 and could go either way on Thursday.

Antwerp are an experienced and dangerous side, who are defensively sound and will look to hit AZ on the counter attack as they search for an away goal. AZ need to take the chances that come their way and stay strong at the back. Keeping Mbokani quiet will be crucial for AZ to achieve victory.




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