On Thursday (April 20 IST), Alkmaar will host Anderlecht at the AFAS Stadion for the second leg of the quarterfinals in the UEFA Europa Conference League. Anderlecht won the first leg 2-0 in Belgium last week, with Michael Amir Murillo and Majeed Ashimeru scoring the goals. A two-goal lead puts them in a strong position to qualify for the semi-finals of a UEFA competition for the first time in 33 years.
Alkmaar, on the other hand, won their most recent match on Sunday against Fortuna Sittard, ending their four-game winless run in the Eredivisie. Jens Odgaard, Milos Kerkez, and Vangelis Pavlidis were the goal scorers for Alkmaar.
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AZ Alkmaar–Anderlecht match preview
AZ Alkmaar have not been in a great form lately, as they have only won one of their last five matches in all competitions, with one draw and three losses. Nonetheless, their win on Sunday could boost their confidence for the second leg of their match.
Despite this recent slump, AZ Alkmaar have won 12 of their 15 European games this season, scoring two or more goals in 10 of these victories. So, they have the ability to produce positive results when needed.
In contrast, Anderlecht suffered a 5-2 defeat against Genk in their previous match, which kept them in 10th place in the Belgian Pro League. Despite having more possession and 13 shots, including six on target, Anderlecht could not cope with Genk’s attacking prowess. Islam Slimani and Anders Dreyer scored for Anderlecht, but it was not enough to prevent their loss.
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It is worth noting that Anderlecht entered this match on a seven-game unbeaten run, winning five games and drawing two across various competitions.
AZ Alkmaar possible starting lineup:
Ryan; Sugawara, Beukema, Hatzidiakos, Kerkez; Reijnders, Clasie; Odgaard, Mijnans, Van Brederode; Pavlidis
Anderlecht possible starting lineup:
Verbruggen; Murillo, Debast, Vertonghen, N’Diaye; Diawara, Ashimeru, Refaelov; Dreyer, Slimani, Amuzu
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AZ Alkmaar–Anderlecht prediction
Alkmaar’s recent form has not been great, with just one win in their last five matches. However, they won their previous match against Fortuna Sittard on Sunday, which could give them a boost. They have a two-goal deficit to overcome in the second leg, but they have won all of their home games in the competition, scoring at least two goals in each of the four matches.
On the other hand, Anderlecht has kept clean sheets in six of their last seven games across various competitions. In the competition, they have played four away games, and only one of those matches had over 2.5 goals.
Considering Alkmaar’s impressive home form, a loss for them seems improbable. Since Anderlecht has an aggregate lead, they are likely to aim for a draw, leading to a low-scoring stalemate.
Prediction: AZ Alkmaar 1–1 Anderlecht
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Date, kick-off time, venue
The Europa Conference League match between Anderlecht and AZ Alkmaar will take place at the Lotto Park on Friday at 12:30 am IST.