AZ have won all three previous Europa Conference League home games without conceding. They’ve also won both previous home games against Norwegian opposition. Bodø/Glimt though are unbeaten in five European away matches.
The first leg produced late drama but what lies in store as these two reconvene in Alkmaar?
A week ago, Bodø/Glimt were aiming for an eighth successive European home win and took the lead when Alfons Sampsted’s cross was headed in by Amahl Pellegrino.
However, in the 72nd minute, Aspmyra Stadion was stunned silent with Yukinari Sugawara picking out Zakaria Aboukhlal who cooly finished.
But, the back-to-back Norwegian champions weren’t to be denied as they were awarded a penalty deep into stoppage time.
With the last kick of the night, the coolest man in the Arctic Circle, Ola Solbakken, slotted it just out of Peter Vindahl Jensen’s reach.
So, 2-1 it finished to Bodø/Glimt who make the journey to the Netherlands with that slender advantage.
The Yellow Horde’s rise in recent years has been remarkable.
Despite only being promoted back to the top-flight in 2017, they’ve since won the back-to-back Eliteserien titles in both 2020 and last year.
In European terms, they reached the third qualifying round for the very first time last season before glamorously going out to A.C. Milan at San Siro.
But, this season, they overcame Valur Reykjavík, Prishtina and Žalgiris Vilnius, thereby qualifying for a UEFA group stage for the very first time.
There, Kjetil Knutsen’s side were unbeaten in matches against Roma, Zorya Luhansk and CSKA Sofia, before demolishing Celtic 5-1 in the first knockout round.
Now, this tiny club from the middle of nowhere in Northern Norway is one draw away from a European quarter-final.
AZ Alkmaar are far more experience at this level, losing to Ipswich Town in the UEFA Cup Final of 1981, before appearing in that tournament’s semi-finals in 2005.
This season, the Cheeseheads reached their 12th UEFA group stage in which they finished top, seven points clear of Randers, Jablonec and CFR Cluj.
AZ’s last knockout phase victory came against Anzhi Makhachkala eight years ago and Pascal Jansen’s side need a two-goal victory to change that statistic.
Will AZ produce a comeback at AFAS Stadion or will Bodø/Glimt’s fairytale continue into the quarter-finals?
AZ Alkmaar team news
Pascal Jansen made just one change from the first leg for Sunday’s surprise Eredivisie loss to FC Twente at home.
Peer Koopmeiners returned after missing the trip to Norway suspended with Yukinari Sugawara reverting to left-back.
On one hand, AZ have an established first XI, although fatigue could be an issue.
Bruno Martins Indi and Owen Wijndal are their experienced heads at the back while Dani de Wit is their midfield creator in chief.
Zakaria Aboukhlal’s goal in the first leg could see him start, supporting striker Vangelis Pavlidis who’s netted 15 times already this season.
Bodø/Glimt team news
After this, all four of Bodø/Glimt’s matches in 2022 will have been in Europe with the new Eliteserien season not starting until 3 April.
So, compared to their opponents, Kjetil Knutsen’s side will be fresh and there will be no reason for him to change too much.
Left-winger Amahl Pellegrino has already scored four times in Europe this season, including in the first leg and at Celtic Park.
Over on the other flank, Ola Solbakken has seven Europa Conference League goals to his name, netting against Žalgiris, Zorya, Roma, Celtic and now AZ.
Full-back Brice Wembangomo and striker Runar Espejord both arrived in January but both have been very impressive so far.
AZ Alkmaar vs Vitesse Arnhem - 6:1
Vitesse Arnhem vs AZ Alkmaar - 2:1
AZ Alkmaar vs SC Heerenveen - 2:0
SC Heerenveen vs AZ Alkmaar - 3:2
AZ Alkmaar vs RKC Waalwijk - 1:3
|Latest match form, last 5 games:||
Valerenga IF Oslo vs Bodoe/Glimt - 0:1
Bodoe/Glimt vs Aalesunds FK - 2:0
Harstad vs Bodoe/Glimt - 0:5
Kristiansund BK vs Bodoe/Glimt - 0:2
Molde FK vs Bodoe/Glimt - 3:1
|May 29, 2022||Eredivisie 21/22||AZ Alkmaar||6 - 1||Vitesse Arnhem|
|May 26, 2022||Eredivisie 21/22||Vitesse Arnhem||2 - 1||AZ Alkmaar|
|May 22, 2022||Eredivisie 21/22||AZ Alkmaar||2 - 0||SC Heerenveen|
|May 19, 2022||Eredivisie 21/22||SC Heerenveen||3 - 2||AZ Alkmaar|
|May 15, 2022||Eredivisie 21/22||AZ Alkmaar||1 - 3||RKC Waalwijk|
|June 29, 2022||NM Cup 2022||Valerenga IF Oslo||0 - 1||Bodoe/Glimt|
|June 26, 2022||Eliteserien 2022||Bodoe/Glimt||2 - 0||Aalesunds FK|
|June 22, 2022||NM Cup 2022||Harstad||0 - 5||Bodoe/Glimt|
|June 18, 2022||Eliteserien 2022||Kristiansund BK||0 - 2||Bodoe/Glimt|
|May 29, 2022||Eliteserien 2022||Molde FK||3 - 1||Bodoe/Glimt|
|10||Shots on goal||39|
|15||Shots off goal||27|
|20%||Average ball possession||20%|
|3||Shots on post||2|
|10||Goals by foot||21|
|1||Goals by head||3|
|1.5||Average Goals Scored||2|
|March 17, 2022||UEFA Europa Conference League 21/22||AZ Alkmaar||2 - 2||Bodoe/Glimt|
|March 10, 2022||UEFA Europa Conference League 21/22||Bodoe/Glimt||2 - 1||AZ Alkmaar|
|6||FC Twente Enschede||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|11||Go Ahead Eagles||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|14||Valerenga IF Oslo||12||3||2||7||12||22||-10||11|
– 101 Great Goals may earn commission from links on this page. Our content is always original. Note that all of our reviewers are compensated for contributing content to 101 Great Goals. Learn more.
What time is kick off between AZ Alkmaar vs Bodoe/Glimt?
17:45, Thursday 17 March 2022