AZ Alkmaar’s return to the Europa League group stage began excitingly last month when they played a 2-2 draw with Partizan Belgrade. Given that 10 men were reduced to the middle of the first half, gathering a point from this difficult game can be considered a great success for Eredivisie’s side.
Now, they will seek to take advantage of the recent bad form of Manchester United and remove some points from the group’s favorites. However, we don’t expect another thriller like the one we saw in Serbia.
In fact, despite the generally high nature of the Eredivisie, AZ has only seen 3 or more goals in half of its last 10 Europa League games. They also have the same record in the AFAS Stadion, and as we all know, Manchester United is not the most fluid attack side at the moment.
Manchester Utd played another sad 1-1 draw with Arsenal on Monday, following a penalty win over Rochdale in the League Cup and a terrible defeat at the hands of West Ham. It is time for another crisis in Old Trafford, and the result on Monday brought them to tenth place in the Premier League table.
The Manchester United Europa League campaign, however, began with a victory. They sit at the top of their group, but their 1-0 slog against Astana was not an exciting clock. For neutrals who plan to tune in to watch this game, it doesn’t seem particularly promising from the point of view of entertainment.
The Red Devils have not seen more than 2 goals scored in a Europa League match since February 2017, with an average of only 1.55 goals per game since then. This covers a period of 9 games, all of which have ended with less than 3 goals scored in total.
Again, visitors are expected to be hit by a front injury. Most likely, teen striker Mason Greenwood will be deployed as the lead striker, and with a little creative spark to support him, we believe that supporting the 2.5 Fewer Objectives is the most valuable option here.
We hope that AZ Alkmaar will also get something from this match. Manchester United have won only 3 of their last 10 days outside the Europa League, and 2 of their last 3 have ended with 1-1 draws. We expect the same thing again, so supporting a 1-1 score prediction is a good option.
AZ Alkmaar hopes to expand its good run of results
Together with Manchester United, AZ Alkmaar appears as the team destined to get one of the access places for the qualifiers. The Dutch team marches in second place after the draw harvested during their visit to the Partizan of Belgrade on the first day of the group stage, a positive result that joins those signed in the Eredivisie, where it marches in the third step only A point from the leader.
On a global level, AZ Alkmaar has only conceded a defeat throughout the season, a fact to take into account because the Dutch had to start the course there by July, since they had to overcome several qualifying rounds to access the group stage of the Europa League, in which they left behind Häcken, Mariupol, and Antwerp.
Regarding their meetings as a local team, there are already seven matches played by the Dutch at home, with four wins and three draws.
In three of those games, they managed to score three or more goals, while they have kept their door unbeaten in five games of that series, a defensive power that will have to shine again if they want to contain the main favorite to take the first position from Group L.
Manchester United has an alarming lack of goal
Much more disconcerting is the performance of Manchester United in these first months of the 2019/2020 course. The Red Devils started with victory in the Europa League, with which they managed to rise to the top of their group, but that victory did not serve to dispel the doubts generated about their bad scoring records.
If we add Premier League, Carabao Cup, and Europa League, the Red Devils accumulate nine official matches, and only in one of them has he been able to score more than one goal. It was at the premiere of the season against Chelsea when they signed a 4-0 with which they seemed to dispel any doubt about their performance, but since that time, only two more victories have arrived.
The numbers as a visiting team also do not invite optimism, with three games away from Old Trafford in which they have signed two draws and a defeat in their most recent outing against West Ham. It should be noted that in those three games they have received goals, a record that can be dangerous against an AZ Alkmaar that is being very reliable in its stadium.