Our prediction for this Europa Conference League match:
Following an unexpected 2-0 loss to Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa will look to give fans some cheer when they face AZ Alkmaar in the Conference League group stages round 4. The Villans defeated the Cheese Farmers 4-1 at AFAS Stadion and they now want to move one step closer to booking their spot in the knockout stages. Leon Bailey should be recalled to the starting XI as well as Youri Tielemans, whilst Matty Cash should recover in time to face AZ. Forward Jhon Duran, on the other hand, is unlikely to be risked.
The visitors are hungry for revenge, but given their shaky defence, we do not believe that Pascal Jansen’s troops are capable of spoiling Aston Villa’s party at Villa Park. As for the Eredivisie outfit, both Lewis Schouten and Mees de Wit have been struggling with injuries of late, while Mayckel Lahdo is banned for the match.
Highlighted Player (Riechedly Bazoer):
Despite playing for PSV during his youth career, Riechedly Bazoer made his Eredivisie debut with Ajax. The central midfielder who was born on 12 October, 1996 in Utrecht, scored his first goal for Ajax on 15 February, 2015 in a 4-2 victory over Twente.
Four days later he made his European debut with the Amsterdammers, taking part in a 1-0 win over Legia in the Europa League. Bazoer scored five goals in 29 league appearances for Ajax in the 2015/2016 season, but he failed to win the domestic trophy with Frank de Boer’s troops.
Speaking of his international career, Bazoer has two caps for Netherlands U21 team and he made his debut for the first team on 13 November, 2015 against Wales. It has to be noted that he came as a late substitute in the 3-2 victory over the Dragons. Back in 2012 the right-footed midfielder won the UEFA U17 European Championship with the Dutch national team.
Highlighted Team (Aston Villa):
Aston Villa is one of the three clubs that dropped to the Championship at the end of the 2015/2016 Premier League campaign. The Villans host their rivals at Villa Park, the stadium that was opened in 1897 and its’ capacity is 42,682. However, it has to be noted that the highest attendance recorded at the stadium was 76,588 when Aston Villa faced Derby County in the FA Cup back in 1946.
Aston Villa’s fiercest rivals are Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion. Nonetheless, the rivalry between Aston Villa and Wolves and Coventry City is big as well. Aston Villa have won seven First Division (Premier League) trophies, with the team clinching seven FA Cup trophies as well.
The team’s biggest success, though, came in 1982 when they won the European Cup. The Villans defeated Bayern Munich (1-0) in the title game and Peter Withe was named the man of the match.