MX23RW : Tuesday, February 2 11:37:19| >> :600:315535:315535:
Dec 27, 2020 at 1.30pm UK at Stadion Galgenwaard
UtrechtFC Utrecht
2-2
AZAZ
Elia (30'), Dalmau (90+3')
Hoogma (16'), van Overeem (45+4'), Gustafson (63')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Koopmeiners (64' pen.), Stengs (83')

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

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

FC Utrecht host AZ Alkmaar on Sunday afternoon in this festive Eredivisie fixture.

The visitors have been in good form of late, picking up 21 points from a possible 24 in recent weeks, while Utrecht ended their eight-game winless run last time out.


Match preview

AZ Alkmaar manager Arne Slot pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Rene Hake's men defeated basement side FC Emmen in midweek to pick up their first three points since late October.

Putting the ball in the back of the net has been a struggle for the Domstedelingen this season but keeping them out is something they have excelled at.

Just 19 goals conceded in their 13 top flight games mean Utrecht have the meanest defence in the bottom half of the division.

What success Hake's side has had in the current campaign has been built on a solid home record. Only Ajax have come away from the Stadion Galgenwaard with three points in 2020-21, and Utrecht will be confident of getting another positive result at the weekend.

A 3-1 win over fourth-placed Vitesse Arnhem on Wednesday made it three consecutive wins for AZ.

Arne Slot's side's strength lies in attack with their 33-goal haul meaning they have the joint-second most potent forward line in the Eredivisie.

The highly-rated young midfielder Teun Koopmeiners has been the driving force behind AZ's recent rise up the table.

His eight goals and three assists make the 22-year-old one of the most effective midfielders in the division despite playing a holding role in Slot's setup.

If the AFAS Stadium outfit secure victory by four or more goals on Sunday, then they will move up into third position ahead of the winter break.

FC Utrecht Eredivisie form: DDDLDW
FC Utrecht form (all competitions): DDLLDW

AZ Eredivisie form: WWLWWW
AZ form (all competitions): DLLWWW


Team News

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

Utrecht's first-choice goalkeeper Maarten Paes will once again be unavailable after missing their last two fixtures with concussion.

Centre-back Emil Bergstrom is sidelined with a thigh problem, while 20-year-old shot-stopper Fabian de Keijzer is absent with a hand injury.

AZ have several stars injured coming into this one, with former Southampton midfielder Jordy Clasie continuing to suffer from coronavirus.

Centre-back Bruno Martins Indi and attacking midfielders Dani de Wit and Jeremy Helmer are also out of Sunday's encounter.

FC Utrecht possible starting lineup:
Oelschlagel; Warmerdam, Hoogma, Jago, Van der Maarel; Ramselaar, Van de Streek, Van Overeem; Elia, Mahi, Kerk

AZ possible starting lineup:
Bizot; Sugawara, Hatzidiakos, Letschert, Wijndal; Midtsjo, Koopmeiners, Reijnders; Stengs, Boadu, Karlsson


SM words green background

We say: FC Utrecht 0-2 AZ

A strong defence is coming up against a very strong attack when Utrecht take on AZ Alkmaar and it should make for an intriguing match. The likes of Koopmeiners, Calvin Stengs and Myron Boadu will likely have too much for Hake's men though and secure a narrow victory.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away 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/Away:data


ID:427896:cQx

How you voted: Utrecht vs AZ

FC Utrecht
22.6%
Draw
17.7%
AZ
59.7%
62
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PSV Eindhoven players celebrate in October 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Ajax20162266155150
2PSV EindhovenPSV20134346222443
3Vitesse20133434181642
4Feyenoord20115437201738
5AZ AlkmaarAZ20107344311337
6Groningen2010462823534
7FC Twente208663325830
8FC UtrechtUtrecht2061042727028
9Heerenveen206862827126
10Heracles207492330-725
11Fortuna SittardSittard207493139-825
12Sparta RotterdamSparta206592932-323
13PEC Zwolle2041062532-722
14VVV-VenloVVV-Venlo2064103449-1522
15RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk2036111734-1715
16Willem II2034132442-1813
17ADO Den HaagADO Den Haag2026121745-2812
18EmmenEmmen2006141749-326

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