MX23RW : Thursday, July 29 10:14:33| >> :600:1123250:1123250:
Dec 20, 2020 at 3.45pm UK at AFAS Stadion, Alkmaar
Willem IIWillem II
Koopmeiners (38', 43'), Stengs (53'), Midtsjo (65'), Karlsson (69' pen.)
FT(HT: 2-2)
Aboukhlal (22' og.), Tresor Ndayishimiye (36' pen.), Nunnely (90')
Kohn (68')

Preview: AZ vs. Willem II - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Eredivisie clash between AZ and Willem II, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

AZ Alkmaar will be aiming to close the gap between themselves and the top two as they host relegation-threatened Willem II on Sunday.

Sixteenth-placed Willem II find themselves just one point off the automatic drop zone and are in woeful form ahead of this fixture.

Match preview

AZ Alkmaar manager Arne Slot pictured in October 2020© Reuters

AZ endured a stuttering start to the Eredivisie season, drawing each of their first five league games as they slipped off the pace.

They also received three red cards in those five games, and have been shown two more in the six games that followed as discipline proves to be a real issue.

However, Arne Slot's men have won five of their last six league games as they do their best to make up for their stuttering start to the campaign.

Losing their Champions League qualifier 2-0 against Dynamo Kiev saw AZ drop into the Europa League. They started their group-stage campaign well, but tapered off and ended up finishing third.

Their exit from European competition leaves them with no more distractions and enables them to focus solely on domestic football.

That bodes poorly for Willem II, who already find themselves in a dire situation, having won just twice so far this season.

Adrie Koster's side find themselves 16th and occupying the relegation playoff position after 12 games and are in very poor form.

They accrued four points from their first three league games, but have picked up just another four in the nine fixtures that followed.

AZ will prove a difficult challenge for the struggling outfit as they look to turn their season around.

AZ Eredivisie form: WWWWLW
AZ form (all competitions): DWDLLW

Willem II Eredivisie form: LLWLLL

Team News

Adrie Koster, now in charge of Willem II, pictured in 2011© Reuters

AZ boss Slot has a number of injury problems ahead of Sunday's fixture.

Dani De Wit, Bruno Martins Indi, Jonas Svensson, Jordy Clasie and Ron Vlaar are all out and the quintet will not all be back until the end of January.

Willem II head coach Koster, however, has a much kinder injury list to contend with.

Elton Kabangu is back in training after being out due to COVID-19, while Dries Saddiki is a doubt with injury.

Both have the potential to feature, however, and the rest of the squad is fully fit.

AZ possible starting lineup:
Bizot; Sugawara, Hatzidiakos, Letschert, Wijndal; Reijnders, Stengs, Koopmeiners; Aboukhal, Boadu, Karlsson

Willem II possible starting lineup:
Ruiter; Owusu, Heerkens, Peters, Kohn; Saglam, Van der Heijden, Ndayishimiye; Nunnely, Pavlidis, Kohlert

SM words green background

We say: AZ 2-1 Willem II

AZ are in great form and are clear favourites to beat struggling Willem II, especially at home. However, they do not have a habit of racking up big scorelines and could win by just a narrow margin.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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Ajax players celebrate scoring against FC Midtjylland on November 25, 2020
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States13141037
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia810725
Great BritainGreat Britain57618
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events

· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
2AZ AlkmaarAZ00000000
4FC Twente00000000
5FC UtrechtUtrecht00000000
7Fortuna SittardSittard00000000
8Go Ahead Eagles00000000
11PEC Zwolle00000000
12PSV EindhovenPSV00000000
13RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk00000000
16Sparta RotterdamSparta00000000
18Willem II00000000

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