Our prediction for this Champions League match:
AZ Alkmaar take on Plzen in a highly-anticipated Champions League qualifier at AFAS Stadion. AZ Alkmaar were level on points with league leaders Ajax when the 2019/20 season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and, as a result, have been handed a chance to represent the Netherlands in the Champions League qualifiers. Boss Arne Slot has a number of young and talented players to choose from, who are definitely capable of beating Plzen in Alkmaar.
The Czech outfit, on the other hand, have been impressive in pre-season, with the team recording a win in each of their first four warm-up games. However, given the number of high-profile footballers in Arne Slot’s team, we are tempted to put our money on the Dutch side this time out. It has to be noted that the two teams meet for the first time ever in European competitions.
Highlighted Player (Ron Vlaar):
Ron Vlaar is a professional football player who began his senior career at AZ Alkmaar. The right-footed defender made 10 appearances for the club between 2004 and 2006 and then he joined fellow Eredivisie club Feyenoord.
Vlaar made his Feyenoord debut on 15 January, 2006 against Vitesse and he was playing for de Trots van Zuid until July, 2012. The Dutch defender moved to England on 27 July, signing a three-year deal with Aston Villa. He made 27 league appearances for the Villans in the 2012/2013 Premier League campaign and he was named captain on 15 September, 2012. Ron Vlaar participated in the 2014/2015 FA Cup final, but Aston Villa were beaten by Arsenal in the title game.
In 2015 he returns to AZ Alkmaar and he has been playing for the Dutch team ever since. Speaking of his international career, Vlaar won the UEFA U21 Championship with Netherlands on two occasions (2006, 2007). In 2014 he won the bronze medal with the Oranje at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Highlighted Team (Viktoria Plzen):
Despite being founded in 1911, Viktoria Plzen only won their first Czech First League trophy in 2011, with the team finishing the season just one point clear of Sparta Prague. The Viktorka continued to play an important role in Czech football and five years later they clinched their fourth domestic trophy.
Plzen impressed in the 2015/2016 Czech First League, finishing the season seven points above second-placed Sparta Prague. In the 2009/2010 season the team won their first ever Czech Cup trophy, beating Jablonec in the title game. The Viktorka participated in the 2013/2014 Champions League group stages, but they failed to record a good result in the elite competition, picking up just three from possible 18 points in Group D. Doosan.
Arena is the home ground of Viktoria Plzen and the capacity of the stadium is 11 700. The venue was opened in 1955 and it was renovated twice (2003 and 2011). The likes of Miroslav Koubek, Pavel Vrba, Michal Bilek, Zdenek Michalek, Jaroslav Dockal, Milan Sip and Antonin Dvorak are some of the notable footballers who player for the club in the past.