AZ Alkmaar hosts Portuguese side Gil Vicente in the first leg of their Europa Conference League playoff on Thursday. Kick-off is at 20.00.

AZ Alkmaar breezed into the playoff round of the competition after a 7-0 win over Dundee United last week that saw them progress 7-1 on aggregate.

AZ are now only two games away from the group stage but they will face a tougher test this round as Portuguese side Gil Vicente visit the AFAS Stadion on Thursday.

Gil Vicente finished fifth in the Portuguese league last season and have reached this stage of the competition by seeing off Latvian side Riga 5-1 on aggregate.

AZ warmed up for the tie by defeating Sparta Rotterdam 3-2, while Gil Vicente lost 1-0 to Arouca.

Team News

AZ Alkmaar will be without four key players with Riechedly Bazoer, Jesper Karlsson, Jens Odgaard and Zinho Vanheusden all not fit.

AZ may go with an unchanged side from the XI that defeated Sparta Rotterdam on Sunday.

Possible AZ Alkmaar line-up: Verhulst; Hatzidiakos, Martins Indi, Beukema, Kerkez; Clasie, Reijnders; Evjen, De Wit, Van Brederode; Pavlidis

Gil Vicente are without long-term injury concerns Murila de Souza and Stanislav Kritsyuk.

Possible Gil Vicente line-up: Andrew; Veiga, Fernandes, Cunha, Gomes; Tiba, Carvalho, Fujimoto; Villodres, Navarro, Boselli

Odds

AZ Alkmaar 53/100 Draw 3/1 Gil Vicente 5/1

An AZ victory important for the Dutch coefficient

Netherlands are doing great business so far in the coefficient race so far this season and it is important that AZ see of Gil Vicente so that the gap over Portugal is widened.

Gil Vicente are a step up in opponents but at home, AZ Alkmaar should have too much for their opponents and the hosts will be hoping to take a good lead to Portugal for the second leg next week.




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