AZ Alkmaar head to Kazakhstan for a clash with Astana on Thursday evening. Kick-off is at 3.50pm.

AZ are still unbeaten in the Europa League this season after draws with both Partizan Belgrade and Manchester United before they hammered Astana 6-0 two weeks ago.

Arnie Slot’s side currently sit second in the group and could take a big step towards the knockout rounds if they can defeat Astana in Kazakhstan on Thursday.

AZ warmed up for the clash with a comfortable 3-0 victory over FC Twente and they currently sit second in the Eredivisie.

Astana wrapped up their league title at the weekend with a 1-0 win at Tobol. Slot believes this could be a concern for AZ, with Astana now able to fully concentrate on the Europa League.

He told his press conference, We had hoped that this (league title) would not happen until next weekend. Then they might have made the choice again to give some players a break.

“Of course it is nice to see how the relationships are when both teams play with their strongest team. It would not surprise me if we spend a lot of time tomorrow on the ball and they play more on the counter. Only their best players will now probably participate and have the confidence of the championship.”

Team News

AZ Alkmaar have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the clash but all eyes will be on Calvin Stengs, who will be looking to impress ahead of Ronald Koeman naming his Netherlands squad on Friday.

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

Possible Astana line-up: Eric, Rukavina, Logvinenko, Shomko, Beysebekov, Postnikov, Simunovic, Tomasov, Maevski, Khizhnichenko, Rotariu

Odds

Astana 5/1 Draw 10/3 AZ Alkmaar 8/15

Can AZ get the victory in Kazakhstan?

AZ head to Kazakhstan full of confidence and on the back of the 6-0 win over Astana two weeks ago.

However, AZ will not have it as easy on Thursday night and Astana will be determined to get revenge after that hammering in the Hague.

With Boadu, Idrissi and Stengs up front, though, AZ will be very confident of scoring at least once and securing a victory that will put them in a great position to reach the knockout rounds with two games left.




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