MX23RW : Saturday, July 24 01:48:05| >> :600:6011352:6011352:
Feb 14, 2021 at 11.15am UK at AFAS Stadion, Alkmaar
AZAZ Alkmaar
3-1
HeerenveenHeerenveen
Stengs (20'), Koopmeiners (47' pen.), Gudmundsson (81')
Hatzidiakos (60')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Schone (54')
Paul van Hecke (46'), Kongolo (87')

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

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

Unbeaten in their last three league games, ninth-placed Heerenveen travel to the AFAS Stadion to face off against AZ Alkmaar on Sunday.

The visitors have a chance to gain revenge for the 3-0 defeat that they suffered at the hands of their hosts when the sides met in November's reverse fixture.


Match preview

AZ Alkmaar's Albert Guomundsson celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates in October 2020© Reuters

On the back of consecutive defeats to FC Utrecht and Ajax, AZ have returned to winning ways following a 1-0 victory at Emmen on Saturday.

Pascal Jansen's men would have been expected to win by a larger margin given that they were up against the bottom club, but a mixture of splendid goalkeeping, as well as wasteful finishing, prevented that from happening.

Yukinari Sugawara was his side's unlikely hero as he popped up with the winning goal - his second of the season - 20 minutes from time.

Sunday's fixture has been renowned for producing a high number of goals in recent seasons, as its last three editions have yielded an average of five goals.

However, the Cheeseheads have not been at their usual best attacking-wise on home turf, with only 40% of their goals coming on their own patch.

Courtesy of a 1-0 victory against title hopefuls Vitesse on Saturday, Heerenveen have picked up seven points from the last nine available.

Henk Veerman's 12th league goal of the season - and his fourth in the last six home games - came in the final 10 minutes and was enough to settle a closely-contested tie at the Abe Lenstra Stadion.

Johnny Jansen's men are yet to concede a goal in their last three outings, when they have beaten two of the current top five.

As daunting as the prospect of an away game at AZ seems, De Superfriezen have won on their last two visits, so they have every reason to believe that they can repeat the feat.

AZ Alkmaar Eredivisie form: WWWLLW
AZ Alkmaar form (all competitions): WLWLLW

Heerenveen Eredivisie form: DDLWDW
Heerenveen form (all competitions): DWLWDW


Team News

AZ Alkmaar players look dejected against Real Sociedad on November 5, 2020© Reuters

Teun Koopmeiners was on target in the reverse fixture, but he has not scored in any of his last six games in all competitions.

Ron Vlaar is nearing a return to action following his recovery from a muscle injury, but Pascal Jansen is in no hurry to restore his Dutch defender back into the side.

The home team will also have to make do with the absence of Dani De Wit, who remains on the sidelines with an ankle problem.

Jonas Svensson has missed major parts of the season with a calf problem, but he is expected to return to training in the coming weeks.

Ulysses Llanez remains Heerenveen's only absentee for the game as he works his way back to full fitness following his recovery from a muscle strain.

AZ Alkmaar possible starting lineup:
Bizot; Wijndal, Martins Indi, Hatzidiakos, Sugawara; Stengs, Koopmeiners, Midtsjo; Karlsson, Boadu, Gudmundsson

Heerenveen possible starting lineup:
Mulder; Woudenberg, Bochniewicz, Dresevic, Floranus; Veerman, De Jong, Halilovic; Van Der Heide, Veerman, Van Bergen


SM words green background

We say: AZ Alkmaar 3-1 Heerenveen

Heerenveen are enjoying a mini purple patch at the moment, but we expect that to come to an end when they face an AZ side who recently got back to winning ways.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com 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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PSV Eindhoven players celebrate in October 2020
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Saturday's key events


ROWING
· Two-time Olympic gold medallist and comeback queen Helen Glover teams up with Polly Swan in the heats of the women's pair (12.30am-4.30am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Two-time Rio gold medallist Max Whitlock leads Team GB's charge in the men's qualification, while Rhys McClenaghan flies the flag for Ireland (2am-2pm)

SHOOTING
· The first gold medal of the Games will be awarded in the Air Rifle women's final (from 2.45am)

CYCLING
· The men's road race should be a wide-open thriller, with Team GB among those going for gold (3am-10am)

TENNIS
· Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka are among the names in action on the opening day of tennis (from 3am)

SWIMMING
· Adam Peaty and many others get their Olympics campaigns underway on the opening day of swimming (11am-12.50pm)

FOOTBALL
· Team GB's women try to make it two wins from two against hosts Japan (11.30am)
· Netherlands and Brazil, who scored 15 goals between them on matchday one, face off (12pm)
· World champions USA look to bounce back from a shock opening defeat against New Zealand (12.30pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Ajax00000000
2AZ AlkmaarAZ00000000
3Groningen00000000
4FC Twente00000000
5FC UtrechtUtrecht00000000
6Feyenoord00000000
7Fortuna SittardSittard00000000
8Go Ahead Eagles00000000
9Heracles00000000
10NEC00000000
11PEC Zwolle00000000
12PSV EindhovenPSV00000000
13RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk00000000
14Cambuur00000000
15Heerenveen00000000
16Sparta RotterdamSparta00000000
17Vitesse00000000
18Willem II00000000

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