Our prediction for this Europa Conference League match:
AZ Alkmaar will be aiming to build on a 4-0 win over Fortuna Sittard when they take on Legia at AFAS Stadion. AZ Alkmaar dropped a three-goal advantage in a 4-3 loss to Zrinjski in their Conference League opener, and, no doubt, they are desperate to get back on course in Group E. Even though all Bazoer, Martins Indi, Westerveld, and de Wit have been struggling with injuries of late, home win should be considered as the Dutch outfit have turned their AFAS Stadion into a real fortress.
The Poles, on the other hand, did well to upset Aston Villa in their first group game, but it has to be noted that several Villa first-team regulars were rested. Legia often struggle on the travels and we do not believe that they are capable of spoiling AZ Alkmaar’s party in the Netherlands. Both Kapustka and Augustyniak should miss out with injuries for the away team.
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 (Legia):
Legia is a football club based in Warsaw and it is one of the most successful sides in Polish history. The Militarians – as they are commonly referred to in Poland – have won 11 Ekstraklasa Championship title, while they also hold the record-18 Polish Cup trophies and four Polish SuperCup matches.
Founded as the main official football club of the Polish Army, Legia Warsaw are playing theirhome matches at the Polish Army Stadium which can accommodate 31,000 people. Legia have endured mixed fortunes at the international scene with the Polish giants regularly participating in Europa League, with four group inclusions over the last six years. The Militarians headed into the 2016-17 season feeling buoyed and motivated having succeeded in ending the 20-year Champions League wait, becoming the first Polish team to take part in Europe’s elite competition over the last two decades.
The 3-1 aggregate playoff victory over Irish Dundalk earned them a place in the final showpiece with Legia being thrown into a heavy mix with the likes of Sporting CP, Borussia Dortmund and European champions Real Madrid.