Manchester United vs AZ Alkmaar betting tips: Europa League preview & predictions

Manchester United vs AZ Alkmaar prediction: Manchester United 2-1 AZ Alkmaar

Manchester United welcome AZ Alkmaar of the Netherlands to Old Trafford, for the first time in their history, to conclude Group L in the UEFA Europa League for the 2019/20 season.

It will be the Cheeseheads’ sixth attempt to win on English soil. The previous five matches have all ended in defeat, with Ipswich scalping them twice. Liverpool, Arsenal and Newcastle have all done so once apiece.

AZ’s most recent visit to England was for a 4-1 defeat at the Emirates, in the UEFA Champions League group stages, back in November 2009. A Cesc Fabregas brace, as well as goals from Samir Nasri and Abou Diaby. doing the damage for Arsenal that night.

United, on the other hand, have often had the better of results against Dutch opponents at Old Trafford. Their only defeat here coming at the hands of Ajax, in the Europa League 2nd Round 2nd leg, back in 2012.

The Red Devils have defeated Feyenoord twice, PSV twice and once apiece for Willem II and Ajax. They also drew 0-0 with PSV here in the Champions League group stages back in 2015.

NORWICH, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 27: Scott McTominay of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Manchester United at Carrow Road on October 27, 2019 in Norwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

Manchester United vs AZ Alkmaar: Who will win?

Man United have won each of their home group stage matches so far this season. They are the 5/6 favourites to complete a trio of wins here.

The previous match between them, in Alkmaar back in October, finished 0-0. Odds of 13/5 are available for another stalemate here.

AZ have won two of their last twelve European away matches, dating back to 2014. They have also lost every match played in England to date. Therefore, it is no surprise to see them as the 16/5 outsiders here.

Marcus Rashford celebrates vs Chelsea

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 30: Marcus Rashford of Manchester United celebrates after the Carabao Cup Round of 16 match between Chelsea FC and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on October 30, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Manchester United vs AZ Alkmaar: Who will score?

Marcus Greenwood has grabbed his chances in this competition so far this season. He leads the scoring charts for United in Europe with two goals in four starts. Greenwood has scored in both of United’s Europa League matches at Old Trafford and is 8/5 to complete the set here. Or 5/1 to do so as the game’s opening goal-scorer.

Marcus Rashford (above) is United’s leading scorer this season, with thirteen goals in all competition. This is seven goals more than his nearest team-mate, Anthony Martial on six. However, he has just one goal in four appearances in Europe this season. Rashford is the 4/1 favourite to open the scoring in this match. Or 5/4 to score at any time during the course of the game.

Myron Boadu could be the next wonderkid to set the Eredivisie alight before moving onto the top 5 European Leagues. Potentially following in the footsteps of the likes of van Basten, Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic, van Nistlerooy and Luis Suarez, to name but a few.

The 18-year old has fourteen goals and seven assists already for AZ this season. This includes three goals and two assists in AZ’s away matches in Europe. He is 15/2 to open the scoring on Thursday night, or 12/5 to get on the scoresheet at any time.

Manchester United vs AZ Alkmaar: Group L Qualification Scenarios

NYON, SWITZERLAND – JULY 18: The UEFA logo is seen on the UEFA Champions League trophy as it is prepared for the UEFA 2014/15 Champions League third qualifying rounds draw at the UEFA headquarters, The House of European Football, on July 18, 2014 in Nyon, Switzerland. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images for UEFA)

Manchester United and AZ Alkmaar have both secured their place in the draw for the UEFA Europa League European knock-out stages in 2020. For Partizan Belgrade and FC Astana, that means an end of their European journey for another season.

What remains to be decided is which of these two sides will top the group.

Manchester United
A win or draw for United would see them top the group and be seeded for the Round of 32 draw next week.

AZ Alkmaar
Only a win for AZ would be enough to see them win the group. This would see them seeded, guaranteeing they host the 2nd leg of their Round of 32 match and likely face an easier opponent.

Manchester United vs AZ Alkmaar: Match preview

The attacking trident of Daniel James, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford (see above) were on lethal form at the weekend, tearing Manchester City’s defence to shreds.

The main theme of the match involved United escaping City’s high press in their own half, before unleashing the three runners on City’s ageing backline.

However, we have often seen with the Red Devils this season instances of them tearing into teams who will come at them and give them space to run into. Their Achilles heel has been doing the same damage to sides who will sit off them in a low block.

As we see above, four of their seven wins this season have come against the sides occupying the top seven spots in the Premier League. United also drew against the other two opponents in the top seven; an average of 2.33 points per game.

In contrast, they are averaging just 1.00 point per game against the sides ranked 8th to 20th in the table.

The first encounter between these sides certainly fits more into the latter category of games. United struggled that night to break down AZ and create any meaningful chances. In total they had just six shots in the match, of which three were blocked. The other three missed the target completely.

United will likely need to find some guile in midfield to penetrate through AZ’s compact shape and open them up in the likely event their pacy attacks are not afforded any space to run into.

Without Pogba though, who will offer this skill set for them?

Manchester United team news vs AZ Alkmaar

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 10: Scott McTominay of Manchester United receives treatment for an injury during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford on November 10, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Nemanja Matic, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Paul Pogba, Diogo Dalot and Eric Bailly are ruled out for United through injury.

Ole Solskjær has used the Europa League this season to rotate his side. Fringe players and academy players such as Axel Tuanzebe, Mason Greenwood, Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes and Brandon Williams have all had numerous starts in the competition so far this season.

With qualification already guaranteed and a hectic schedule coming up in the Premier League, will Ole take the opportunity to give the kids another run-out in the competition?

Or will the focus be on securing top-spot in the group for a favourable draw in the knock-out stages?

In his pre-match press conference, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed that Paul Pogba remains unavailable but hopes to return before the end of the calendar year.

Meanwhile, Dalot, Rojo, Bailly and Fosu-Mensah remain out.

Predicted Manchester United team vs AZ Alkmaar

(Rojo and Dalot have been ruled out of the match – so expect Lindelof and Ashley Young at centre back and right back respectively.)

Predicted Manchester United team vs AZ Alkmaar

Predicted Manchester United team vs AZ Alkmaar

AZ Alkmaar team news vs Manchester United

Pantelis Chatzidiakos is the only player ruled out for AZ, with a cruciate ligament injury.

AZ coach, Arne Slot, has used a strong side throughout the competition. The final group match on Thursday will be no different with largely the same XI from the weekend starting here.

One change could come at centre half, with former Southampton midfielder Jordy Clasie featuring there for the 0-3 win in Zwolle at the weekend.

Slot will likely opt for a more defensively astute player there for the trip to Old Trafford. Pantelis Hatzidiakos, Joris Kramer and Ron Vlaar, formerly of Aston Villa, look the most likely options.

Predicted AZ Alkmaar team vs Manchester United

Predicted AZ Alkmaar team vs Manchester United

Predicted AZ Alkmaar team vs Manchester United

The latest tweets from Manchester United pre-AZ Alkmaar

The latest tweets from AZ Alkmaar pre-Manchester United

All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.

Why you need a VPN?
Cut chords:
Watch everything (Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu) online using a VPN.
Unlock geoblocking:
A VPN gives you access to the best content from anywhere in the world.
Privacy & security:
A VPN keeps your information private, activity encrypted & data anonymous.
Just $6.67 a month + 3 months free!
Paddy Power's new customer offer: £20 risk free first bet!