AZ Alkmaar has a mountain to climb on Thursday when they host Anderlecht in the second leg of their Europa Conference League quarter-final.

Last week in Belgium, AZ were poor and they succumb to a 2-0 defeat which leaves Anderlecht in pole position to reach the semi-finals.

AZ will need a strong performance in the AFAS Stadion if they are to turn it around and at least they go into the game on the back of a confidence-boosting 3-0 win over Fortuna Sittard. That ended a winless run for Pascal Jansen’s side which sits 4th in the Eredivisie.

Anderlecht, on the other hand, lost heavily, 5-2 to Genk and AZ will be hoping that dents their mood heading to Alkmaar.

Team News

AZ will be without the injured Jesper Karlsson for the second leg, while Bruno Martins Indi, Dani de Wit and Mees de Wit remain out.

Possible AZ line-up: Ryan; Sugawara, Beukema, Hatzidiakos, Kerkez; Reijnders, Clasie; Odgaard, Mijnans, Van Brederode; Pavlidis

Yari Verschaeren and Adrien Trebel are out for Anderlecht and coach Brian Riemer could decide to name the same starting line-up as last week.

Possible Anderlecht line-up: Verbruggen; Murillo, Debast, Vertonghen, N’Diaye; Diawara, Ashimeru, Refaelov; Dreyer, Slimani, Amuzu

Odds

AZ Alkmaar 73/100 Draw 14/5 Anderlecht 15/4

Can AZ turn the game around?

Last week, AZ put in their worst performance in Europe this season and it was a deserved win for Anderlecht.

At home, the Dutch side should be much better and Jansen’s side will be on the attack from the start. An early goal for AZ could set them on their way to a comeback and Jansen will be going all out for the semi-final.

They must find a way past the excellent Dutch goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen, but can take inspiration from Genk, who got five past him at the weekend.

It has so far been an excellent European campaign for AZ and hopefully, it continues into the semi-finals.




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