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UEFA Europa League | AFAS Stadion | 15th August


AZ have the edge after drawing 0-0 with Mariupol in Ukraine but that tie is by no means above and the two teams will believe they could still advance through to the next round of the Europa League. The Eredivisie side would be the big favourites to qualify now they have the home advantage but when their guests were able to score the first target, then the odds may well swing in the opposite direction.

The stats point towards a win and a blank sheet for AZ Alkmaar on Thursday night, as a result of current form of the hosts along with their excellent defensive record.

AZ have surrendered one goal in their last six games, a 1-0 friendly defeat for Beerschot-Wilrijk, and that’s another reason why people think the hosts will probably keep a clean sheet Thursday. AZ has netted nine goals in their past six matches and Mariupol have surrendered eight during that same time, together with the people only managing to keep one clean sheet in these six encounters.

Mariupol are without a win in their last three away games and have dropped two of those matches against Kolos Kovalivka and Zorya, while AZ’s last home game ended in a 4-0 victory over Fortuna Sittard. The Mariupol defence established a tough nut to crack in Ukraine a week but AZ were doing well in front of goal of late and we expect the Dutch side to score two objectives in Thursday’s 2nd leg.

We are convinced that AZ Alkmaar will triumph to nil on Thursday and have predicted a final scoreline of 2-0. The hosts have an excellent defensive record heading into the 2nd leg and we expect Mariupol’s goal-scoring chances to be restricted. The visitors don’t possess the very best of records in recent months, despite keeping a clean sheet from AZ last time out, so we can’t observe the Dutch team failing to strike the back of the following in the 2nd leg.


Prediction: AZ Alkmaar Win To Nil 


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