Our prediction for this Europa Conference League match:
AZ Alkmaar will be aiming to make amends for a heavy 3-0 loss to PSV when they take on Randers at Cepheus Park in the Group D opener. AZ have been having their ups and downs at the start of the new Eredivisie campaign, but they are surely capable of beating Randers, who suffered a dip in form. Pascal Jansen should have a full squad to choose from for Thursday’s clash.
The Danish outfit, on the other hand, are on a three-game losing run in all competitions, and given their shaky defence, home win should not be considered. All Brock-Madsen, Kabongo, and Kallesoe are out of contention through injuries for the home team, which is yet another reason why we are tempted to put our money on the Dutch club. Teenage summer signing Vasilios Pavlidis is widely expected to lead the line for the visitors.
Highlighted Player (Bruno Martins Indi):
Bruno Martins Indi was born in Portugal, but his family quickly moved to Rotterdam, where he joined Feyenoord’s youth set-up in 2005. Netherlands international has made his professional debut in 2010 with Feyenoord, where he spent four years as mainstay before a move to FC Porto on the back of impressive display at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Bruno Martins Indi spent most of his career playing as centre-back, but he can equally fill in on various positions in defence. Bruno Martins Indi had been deemed a victim to the extreme recolution in Porto’s central defensive department, having fallen out of favour with Nuno Espirito Santo and even being punished with a place in Porto’s reserves.
During the summer transfer window the 24-year-old defender insisted on a move away from the club with Premier League being his preferred destination. On the final day of the transfer marked Bruno Martins Indi has been set to Stoke City on a season long loan.
Highlighted Team (AZ):
AZ Alkmaar are a professional football club that play their home matches at AFAS Stadion. The venue was opened on 4 August, 2006 and the construction of the stadium cost €38 million. AFAS Stadion is able to hold 17 023 spectators.
The Cheeseheads were founded on 10 May, 1967 and they won their first trophy in 1981, finishing the season 12 points clear of Dutch giants Ajax. 18 years later AZ clinched their second Eredivisie trophy, with the team finishing the 2008/2009 campaign with 80 points, 11 clear of second-placed Twente. In 1981 the club made it to the UEFA Cup final, but English side Ipswich Town proved to be a big catch for the Dutch team.
AZ’s home kits are red and white and they wear black shirts when playing on the road. The likes of Shota Arveladze, Jozy Altidore, Ron Vlaar, Joris Mathijsen, Graziano Pelle, Simon Poulsen, Moussa Dembele and Sergio Romero are notable footballers who played for AZ in the past.