MX23RW : Tuesday, August 16 09:41:35| >> :600:356899:356899:
[monks data]
May 11, 2022 at 7pm UK at Stadion Galgenwaard
Utrecht
2 - 2
AZ
van de Streek (37'), Douvikas (90+4')
van Overeem (57')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Pavlidis (12', 15')
de Wit (69')

Preview: FC Utrecht vs. AZ Alkmaar - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Eredivisie clash between FC Utrecht and AZ Alkmaar, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

FC Utrecht will be looking for back-to-back home victories when they welcome AZ Alkmaar to Stadion Galgenwaard on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the visitors sit in fifth place in the Eredivisie, and they enter the contest in fine form after losing just one of their last six matches.


Match preview

AZ Alkmaar coach Pascal Jansen before the match on March 10, 2022© Reuters

Utrecht are guaranteed a Europa Conference League playoff place after picking up 46 points from their 32 league games.

Although their spot in the playoffs is assured, Wednesday's hosts will be hoping for home advantage for the second leg of the semi-final, but to do that they must finish in fifth or sixth position.

Fifth place is out of their reach, but they currently sit just one point behind Vitesse Arnhem who occupy sixth spot ahead of the midweek round of fixtures.

At the weekend, Utrecht missed the chance to move above Vitesse Arnhem after Hidde ter Avest's opener was cancelled out by Daishawn Redan, ensuring that the contest with PEC Zwolle ended in a 1-1 draw.

Despite residing in the playoffs, Utrecht's recent form has been underwhelming, with their previous eight matches yielding just one victory and if they are to match last season's sixth-placed finish then they may have to win at least one of their final two fixtures.

Like their hosts, AZ Alkmaar are assured of a playoff place, but their sights are set higher with an automatic qualification spot for the Europa Conference League still possible.

To achieve that goal, Pascal Jansen's side need to move above Twente, who currently occupy fourth position in the Eredivisie.

Despite picking up a point at home against league leaders Ajax on Saturday, AZ Alkmaar may have left the pitch with a sense of disappointment after leading the reigning Dutch champions.

Goals from Vangelis Pavlidis and Hakon Evjen gave AZ Alkmaar a 2-1 lead following Brian Bobbey's opener, but the visitors snatched a point thanks to Edson Alvarez's 86th-minute equaliser.

As they look to collect up all three points on Wednesday, the visitors will try to take inspiration from the comfortable 5-1 victory that they picked up against Utrecht in the reverse fixture.

FC Utrecht Eredivisie form:
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D

AZ Alkmaar Eredivisie form:
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D


Team News

The hosts are expected to be without the services of Mark van der Maarel, Tommy St. Jago and Bart Ramselaar, with the trio set to miss out due to injury issues.

Fabian de Keijzer is a doubt for Utrecht after he was forced off before half time at the weekend, and the goalkeeper could be replaced by Eric Oelschlagel in the starting lineup.

Henk Veerman made his return from injury to feature as a late substitute against Zwolle, and the 31-year-old is set to be joined on the bench by Mimoun Mahi, who is expected to come back into the matchday squad following an injury issue.

As for the visitors, Yusuf Barasi remains an injury absentee, while Jordy Clasie will serve a one-match suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards.

With Clasie unavailable, Tijjani Reijnders could come back into the starting lineup to operate in midfield alongside Fredrik Midtsjo and Evjen.

Pavlidis will feature in the forward line, and the 23-year-old will be looking to continue his impressive form after scoring four goals in his last five appearances.

FC Utrecht possible starting lineup:
Oelschlagel; Ter Avest, Van Der Hoorn, Janssen, Van Der Kust; Timber, Maher, Gustafson; Van De Streek, Sylla, Douvikas

AZ Alkmaar possible starting lineup:
Vindahl; Sugawara, Chatzidiakos, Martins Indi, Wijndal; Midtsjo, Reijnders, De Wit; Evjen, Karlsson, Pavlidis


SM words green background

We say: FC Utrecht 1-2 AZ Alkmaar

AZ Alkmaar eased to victory in the reverse fixture against Utrecht, and though we expect Wednesday's contest to be closely-fought, we think that the visitors will have too much quality for their hosts.




Data Analysis

Our analysis of all available data, including recent performances and player stats, suggests the most likely outcome of this match is a AZ Alkmaar win with a probability of 42.75%. A win for FC Utrecht has a probability of 32.23% and a draw has a probability of 25%.

The most likely scoreline for an AZ Alkmaar win is 0-1 with a probability of 9.14%. The next most likely scorelines for that outcome are 1-2 (8.98%) and 0-2 (6.96%). The likeliest FC Utrecht win is 1-0 (7.74%), while for a drawn scoreline it is 1-1 (11.79%).



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals 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.Under 3.5:data


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How you voted: Utrecht vs AZ

FC Utrecht
22.9%
Draw
25.7%
AZ Alkmaar
51.4%
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1Ajax22009366
2PSV EindhovenPSV22009366
3SBV Excelsior22005146
4FC Twente22004046
5AZ AlkmaarAZ22005236
6Feyenoord21105234
7NEC21014223
8RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk20203302
9FC UtrechtUtrecht20202202
10Heerenveen20200002
11Sparta RotterdamSparta201123-11
12Cambuur201102-21
13FC VolendamVolendam201136-31
14EmmenEmmen201125-31
15Groningen201138-51
16Fortuna SittardSittard200226-40
17Vitesse200238-50
18Go Ahead Eagles200227-50

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