Alkmaar faces Anderlecht in the second leg of the UECL here in the AFAS Stadion! It’s time to check our Europa Conference League odds series, starring our AZ-Anderlecht prediction, pick, and how-to-watch guide.
Alkmaar snapped their four-game winless run on Sunday with a 3-0 win at Fortuna Sittard. Jens Odgaard, Milos Kerkez, and Vangelis Pavlidis were on the scoresheet. The hosts are on the edge as they trail by two goals against the visitors.
The first leg in Belgium last week ended in a 2-0 win for Anderlecht, thanks to goals from Michael Amir Murillo and Majeed Ashimeru. A two-goal cushion puts them in pole position to reach the last four of a UEFA competition for the first time in 33 years. However, Anderlecht carries a 5-2 loss to Genk heading into this away game.
Here are the AZ-Anderlecht soccer odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
Europa Conference League Odds: AZ-Anderlecht Odds
AZ Alkmaar Zaanstreek: -145
RSC Anderlecht: +390
Over 2.5 Goals: -110
Under 2.5 Goals: -110
How to Watch AZ vs. Anderlecht
Stream: Paramount+, ViX+
Time: 12:45 PM ET / 9:45 AM PT
*Watch soccer LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why AZ Can Beat Anderlecht
AZ Alkmaar will try to overturn the two-goal deficit from the first leg of this tie when they take on Belgian Pro League side Anderlecht at their own ground on Thursday. Alkmaar will impose their will as they have just secured their first win in five games.
The Cheese Farmers go into this game with a lot of confidence after ending their run of four straight winless games with a 3-0 win over Fortuna Sittard last weekend. Despite the win, Pascal Jansen’s men are still five points behind third-placed PSV Eindhoven, meaning there is still plenty of work to be done in the league, as well as in Thursday’s Conference League game.
Coach Pascal Jansen and his team have a good record at home this season, but they have not won in their last two at the AFAS Stadion, losing their last match against Sparta Rotterdam, which followed a draw against Heerenveen a week earlier. They need to overturn a two-goal deficit, which is possible, as they have a 100% record at home in the competition, having scored at least twice in four games. AZ has a 7-5-2 record at home in the Eredivisie, scoring 27 goals at home.
The Cheeseheads have had to contend with a handful of absentees this season. Jesper Karlsson is the biggest omission from the squad, but there are other missing pieces like Maxim Dekker, Dani de Wit, Sem Westerveld, and Bruno Martins Indi, who are longer-term absentees and will not be involved here either. Sven Mijnans and Myron van Brederode are expected to fill the gaps in midfield for the hosts.
Why Anderlecht Can Beat AZ
Anderlecht saw their seven-game unbeaten run come to an end in the Belgian Pro League on Sunday, as they fell to a 5-2 defeat at leaders Genk. Islam Slimani and Anders Dreyer scored consolation goals in either half. Anderlecht has kept clean sheets in six of their last seven games across competitions. They have seen over 2.5 goals in one of their four away games in the competition.
Considering Alkmaar’s solid home form in the competition, it will be a tough task for the Belgians to pound the Dutchmen. As Anderlecht have an aggregate lead, playing for a draw would be solid, but a win will always guarantee their spot to the next stage. The Belgian team has done well in the first game to get a two-goal advantage ahead of the return leg. Coach Brian Rimmer will be eager to put a formidable defensive wall in front of his goal and try to cause harm to their opponent by counterattacking.
Despite their desperation to jump into the next stage, the visitors will need to put the 5-2 loss they suffered in their last game in the back of their minds and focus on the task at hand. Anderlecht now sits tenth in the Belgian Pro League, but they should not let their recent disappointment get into their heads; they have performed admirably in recent weeks.
Brian Riemer’s side has lost only one of their last eight games and, given their performance in the first leg, they are considered favorites to progress to the semifinals from this tie. However, away fans will probably be worried about their team’s away form in Europe, as just two of the last five games on the road were won. Anderlecht should take inspiration in their domestic run, making a 7-3-7 away record and scoring 22 goals.
Arguably the most notable casualty for the visitors will be Yari Verschaeren, as the Anderlecht playmaker is set to miss out with an ACL tear which might keep him out for the rest of the season. Adrien Trebel is also sidelined through injury, which will likely see Amadou Diawara continue in his absence.
After conceding five goals in the last match against Genk, head coach Brian Riemer will surely make changes to his Anderlecht starting eleven. Islam Slimani, who is the club’s joint top scorer this season with seven goals, will keep his place in the final third, but Hannes Delcroix and Marco Kana could be deployed in defense. Francis Amuzu and Anders Dreyer shall be slotted as wingers.
Final AZ-Anderlecht Prediction & Pick
The Cheeseheads will be making a statement game at home, but their slump in recent weeks might catch them up badly at the AFAS Stadion. A draw and a low-scoring match is expected but Anderlecht will be proceeding to the next round.
Final AZ-Anderlecht Prediction & Pick: Draw (+270), Under 2.5 goals (-110)
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