AZ Alkmaar face a long trip to Kazakhstan as their Europa League campaign continues against Shakhter Karagandy.

  • By Michael Bell
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AZ GUDThe Dutch side have made a good start in the Europa League group stages with a win over Maccabi Haifa followed by a draw against PAOK. A victory in Kazakhstan would all but see Dick Advocaat’s side into the next round.

They go into the game on the back of a good 3-1 win over Cambuur in Advocaat’s first game back in charge of the club, with Aron Johannsson continuing his good form, netting twice.

Shakhter are still without a win after two games, with a defeat against PAOK in their opening game, and a draw against Maccabi Haifa.

The Kazakhstan side are in the Europa League after they lost to Scottish side Celtic in the Champions League play-offs, despite winning the first leg 2-0 at home.

However they are currently in terrible form, with only one win in their last eleven games since their win over the SPL champions in August. Karagandy currently sit 5th out of six in their league table, and are 16 points behind league leaders Aktobe.

AZ have no new injury worries after their match with Cambuur, and coach Dick Advocaat is set to name the same side that triumphed on Sunday.

Probable line-ups:

Shakhter Karagandy: Mokin, Simcevic, Maliy, Vasiljević, Džidić, Tarasov, Cañas, Vičius, Ghazaryan, Khizhnichenko, Finonchenko

AZ Alkmaar: Alvarado, Johansson, Viergever, Wuytens, Gouweleeuw, Henriksen, Gudelj, Martens, Gudmundsson, Beerens, Johannsson

Shakhter proved against Celtic that they are a good side at home, and AZ will have to be at their best to come away with a positive result. If AZ’s front three of Gudmundsson, Beerens, and Johannsson continues their form from Sunday then a comfortable win may be on the cards.

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