After their excellent win over Napoli last week, AZ Alkmaar host HNK Rijeka looking to take another step towards the Europa League knockout rounds. Kick-off is at 8 pm.

Last week, despite missing a number of players, AZ Alkmaar managed to come away from Napoli with a very impressive 1-0 win to get the group stage off to a fantastic start.

Arne Slot’s side now hosts Croatian side HNK Rijeka, who lost 1-0 late on against Real Sociedad.

Despite the win last week, AZ Alkmaar’s league form remains a major concern. They threw away a 2-0 lead against ADO Den Haag at the weekend, meaning they have now drawn all five league games. Four of those draws have seen AZ lose comfortable leads late on.

HNK Rijeka, who finished 3rd in the Croatian league last season, did not play at the weekend after their game was called off. They currently sit fourth after six games.

Team News

AZ are still without a number of players who tested positive for coronavirus, including striker Myron Boadu.

Ferdy Druijf, Jordy Clasie, Ron Vlaar, Zakaria Aboukhlal, Timo Letschert, and Hakon Evjen are among the players that will also miss the game.

After it worked against Napoli, Slot may decide to start with Dani de Wit through the middle.

Possible AZ line-up: Bizot, Svensson, Wijndal, Martins Indi, Hatzidiakos, Koopmeiners, Midtso, Stengs, Sugawara, Karlsson, De Wit

HNK Rijeka are without Milan Ristovski and Tibor Halilovic through injury.

Possible HNK Rijeka line-up: Nevistic, Tomecak, Stefulj, Smolcic, Escoval, Velkovski, Cerin, Andrijasevic, Pavicic, Loncar, Kulenovic


AZ 2/5 Draw 17/4 HNK Rijeka 6/1

Can AZ make it two wins from two?

AZ Alkmar did brilliantly to win at Napoli last week, but their league form is a major issue for the club.

AZ seem incapable of closing out wins in the Eredivisie, and Slot will be hoping Thursday will not be more of the same.

Even with the corona issues, AZ are still favourites on paper against HNK Rijeka and with Dani de Wit and an in-form Jesper Karlsson up front they are very capable of scoring goals.

HNK Rijeka will be organised and will look to frustrate the hosts and hit them on the counter. An early goal would be great to ease any fears in the AZ side.

Two wins from two would be a great start for AZ with tough ties against Real Sociedad to come.

admin (12189 Posts)

Follow @Footballoranje_ on Twitter