AZ Alkmaar take on English giants Manchester United in their second Europa League group game. Kick-off in the Hague is at 5.55pm.

In their opening group game two weeks ago, AZ battled battled to a 2-2 draw at Partizan Belgrade after having Jonas Svensson sent off.

Since then, Arnie Slot’s side have went on a three game winning streak, including a 3-0 win over Feyenoord in De Kuip and Sunday’s 2-0 victory against Heracles Almelo. AZ now sits third and only one point behind Ajax and PSV Eindhoven.

On Thursday, the in-form AZ Alkmaar will play host to Manchester United, who are under fire at the moment for several poor performances recently.

The Premier League giants defeated Astana 1-0 at home two weeks ago, but that was not enough to appease fans after their poor start to the campaign. They then lost 2-0 at West Ham United, only beat Rochdale in the cup on penalties and then drew 1-1 at home with Arsenal on Monday. Manchester United currently sit 10th in the Premier League.

Red Devil’s boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is now under severe pressure to start getting results, starting with AZ on Thursday.

Despite being pushed forward as favourites for the clash, Slot is staying cautious, “That doesn’t seem very realistic to me. We have a lot of respect for United. Everyone says they are less in shape, but we should not look at the rankings too much right now. 

“Unfortunately, we have not played against such clubs in recent years. But we know that we will face this game with a lot of confidence. ”

Team News

Slot will be without Svensson after his red card against Partizan Belgrade, while Albert Gudmundsson is a doubt after coming off injured against Heracles. Ron Vlaar was rested for that game, but he should come back into the starting line-up.

Possible AZ line-up: Bizot, Sugawara, Wijndal, Vlaar, Wuytens, Midtso, Koopmeiners, De Wit, Stengs, Idrissi, Boadu

Manchester United will be without a number of big names for the trip to the Netherlands. Anthony Martial, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba and Ashley Young have all been left out of the squad.

Former AZ Alkmaar goalkeeper Sergio Romero could feature if Solskjaer decides to tinker with his line-up again like he did against Astana, along with Dutch winger Tahith Chong.

Possible Manchester United line-up: Romero, Rojo, Tuanzebe, Maguire, Lindelhof, Matic, McTominay, Mata, James, Pereira, Rashford

Odds

AZ Alkmaar 15/8 Draw 12/5 Manchester United 7/5

Can AZ Alkmaar down Manchester United?

AZ Alkmaar a team in great form with one of the most exciting young attacks in Europe at the moment.

The front three of Oussama Idrissi, Calvin Stengs and Myron Boadu has been sensational so far this season and they will undoubtedly want to showcase their talents against one of the biggest sides in Europe.

Manchester United head into the game with a lot of pressure on their shoulders but the win over Astana means they are currently in control of the group and Solskjaer may decide to rest some key names for the clash with Newcastle United at the weekend.

Even if he doesn’t rest the big names, this AZ side have more than enough talent to go toe to toe with them at the moment. If the defence can remain solid and Teun Koopmeiners can pull the strings in the middle, there is no reason why AZ cannot achieve victory on Thursday.

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