AZ Alkmaar face Italian giants Napoli on Thursday with their Europa League chances hanging in the balance.

Arne Slot’s side got off to an amazing start in the group with the 1-0 win over Napoli in Italy, along with the victory against HNK Rijeka. However, the loss away and draw at home to Real Sociedad have left AZ sitting third in the group.

The poorer head to head record against Real Sociedad means that AZ needs to get a result against Napoli on Thursday to realistically keep their chances alive, with the Spaniard’s facing HNK Rijeka, who have lost all four games in the group.

AZ are in good form having defeated Heracles Almelo 2-1 at the weekend to record their fourth victory in a row.

Napoli also go into the game full of confidence having smashed AS Roma 4-0 in an emotional clash that was their first since the death of club legend Diego Maradona.

Team News

AZ Alkmaar will be without injured right-back Jonas Svensson, with Yukinari Sugawara set to replace him

Slot will also need to decide whether Myron Boadu or Albert Gudmundsson starts up front. The former scored in the win over Heracles, which was his first start for over a month.

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

Gennaro Gattuso will be without striker Victor Osimhen, Amir Rrahmani and Elseid Hysaj. Dries Mertens is likely to start up front with Arkaduisz Milik still banished by the club.

Possible Napoli line-up: Ospina; Ghoulam, Maksimovic, Koulibaly, Di Lorenzo; Demme, Bakayoko; Elmas, Zielinski, Politano; Mertens

Odds

AZ Alkmaar 10/3 Draw 11/4 Napoli 4/5

Can AZ complete the double over Napoli?

AZ were defensively excellent in the 1-0 win at Napoli and took the one chance that came their way. On Thursday the game should follow the same pattern with Napoli looking to attack, while AZ will hope to hit them on the counter.

If AZ get another victory over Napoli it would be an incredible result, but even a draw would be a decent outcome going into the final round of group games.

It was always going to be difficult for AZ to get out of this group and they really should have got a victory against Real Sociedad last week. However, they still have a chance and need two big performances to see them through.




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