AZ Alkmaar head to Glasgow on Wednesday for the first leg of their Europa League qualifier against Scottish side Celtic. The kick-off is at 7.45 pm.

AZ had ambitions to challenge for a Champions League spot last season but they finished third in the Eredivisie, meaning they have to settle for a Europa League spot.

It has been a difficult summer for AZ with key players Myron Boadu, Calvin Stengs, Marco Bizot and Jonas Svensson all departing the club, while Teun Koopmeiners and Owen Wijndal could also leave.

The Eredivisie season also got off to a poor start with AZ going down to a poor 1-0 loss to RKC Waalwijk.

A big improvement is now needed for when AZ head to Glasgow for the first leg of their tie with Scottish giants Celtic, who dropped into the competition after a defeat to Midtjylland in the Champions League qualifiers.

Celtic have won their last four games on the bounce, though, with Jablonec no problem in the last round of the Europa League, while they defeated Hearts 3-2 in a cup game on Sunday.

Team News

AZ Alkmaar could hand a debut to new goalkeeper Peter Vindhal Jensen, while Fredrik Midtsjo and Teun Koopmeiners could return to the starting eleven after starting the defeat to RKC on the bench.

Pascal Jansen will be without the injured Owen Wijndal and the suspended Jesper Karlsson.

Possible AZ line-up: Vindhal Jensen, Sugawara, Oosting, Martins Indi, Letschert, Koopmeiners, Midtsjo, De Wit, Aboukhlal, Gudmundsson, Pavlidis

Celtic could be without winger Ryan Christie, who picked up a knock in training, while Christopher Jullien is another player who will miss the tie.

Possible Celtic line-up: Hart; Ralston, Starfelt, Welsh, Taylor; McGregor, Turnbull, Rogic; Abada, Edouard, Furuhashi

Odds

Celtic 1/1 Draw 5/2 AZ Alkmaar 13/5

Key Players

Teun Koopmeiners

AZ’s captain has made no secret of the fact that he wants to leave this summer and he has been linked with Atalanta, AS Roma, and Rennes. However, he is still with AZ, meaning Koopmeiners should feature against Celtic. AZ boss Pascal Jansen dropped Koopmeiners for the loss to RKC but after coming off the bench he was the best player on the pitch and needs to play.

Odsonne Edouard

The French striker will be Celtic’s main threat on Wednesday with Edouard scoring 85 times and providing 39 assists in 175 games for the Hoops. Edouard is being linked with a move away and he will want to put himself in the spotlight against AZ.

Can AZ get a result in Scotland?

AZ Alkmaar are an ambitious side but there is no hiding the fact that the club is looking weaker than they did last season after the loss of Boadu and Stengs.

Pascal Jansen has a talented squad but it is a side that is missing a goalscorer at the moment, while transfer rumours surrounding Koopmeiners has not helped.

Celtic are a club looking to bounce back after a poor campaign last year and the form is improving under new head coach Ange Postecoglou. They have won four games on the bounce and they will be a very tough test for AZ, who looked very poor against RKC.

AZ will need to be at their best to get any sort of result in Glasgow and coming away with a draw would be a great result.




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