AZ Alkmaar host Partizan Belgrade at the AFAS Stadion on Thursday needing a win to avoid an exit from the competition.

partizan azThe defeat away to Augsburg two week’s ago left AZ Alkmaar rooted to the bottom of the group and three points behind the German side and Partizan Belgrade. Defeat to Partizan on Thursday would spell the end of AZ’s participation in the tournament ahead of their final tie in Spain against Athletic Bilbao in two weeks.

John van den Brom’s side put in one of their best performances of the season last weekend when a double from Vincent Janssen helped them to a 3-1 win over Heerenveen. After a disappointing campaign so far in the Eredivisie, AZ now sit ninth.

Partizan Belgrade slumped to a 5-1 defeat away at Athletic Bilbao in their last Europa League group tie, and the Serbian side currently sit fourth in their league table. Ljubinko Drulovic’s side warmed up for the tie in Alkmaar with a 3-0 win over Novi Pazar.

Team News

AZ will be without the unregistered Mounir El Hamdaoui on Thursday, while Jop van der Linden (stomach) and Ridgeciano Haps (toe) are doubts. Opponents Partizan Belgrade will be without defender’s Gregor Balazic and Milos Ostojic.

Possible AZ line-up: Esteban, Johansson, Brezancic, Gouweleeuw, Luckassen, Ortiz, Henriksen, Van Overeem, Dos Santos, Jahanbakhsh, Janssen

Possible Partizan line-up: Kljajic, Vulicevic, Bandalovski, Cirkovic, Ilic, Babovic, Jevtovic, Ninkovic, Subic, Bozhinov, Oumarou

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