Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Thursday’s football game at AFAS Stadion pits together AZ Alkmaar and Kairat, who face each other in the Europa League second qualifying round, return leg. AZ Alkmaar aim to overcome a two-goal deficit in front of home fans and they are likely to fight tooth and nail against Kairat. The Dutch side failed to impress in the 2-0 loss to Kairat, but it is well known that they produce much better showings in front of home fans than on the travels. AZ Alkmaar were scoring goals for fun at their AFAS Stadion last term and that is surely giving fans a reason for optimism ahead of the visit of Kairat. The Kazaks are likely to try and defend their two-goal lead, but we do not believe that they are capable of spoiling AZ’s party in Alkmaar. John van den Brom has a number of young and talented players to choose from, but we are still tempted to put our money on the hosts.
Highlighted Player (Fred Friday):
Fred Friday is a Nigerian striker who was born on 18 May, 1995. He moved to Norwegian side Lillestrom in 2013, but he failed to find the net in the 2013 season. The Nigerian attacker scored three goals in 16 league appearances for the club in the 2014 season, while impressing in the 2015 Eliteserien campaign, scoring 11 goals for the Canaries.
In the summer of 2016 he moved to AZ Alkmaar and he made his debut for the Dutch outfit in a 2-2 draw with Heerenveen on 7 August, 2016. Friday came as a substitute in the second half of the match, replacing Wout Weghorst. His main position is centre forward, but he is capable of playing as a winger as well.
His contract with AZ Alkmaar expires on 30 June, 2020. Fred Friday has yet to make his debut for the Nigerian national football team. The players’ agent is Emefie Aneke Atta.
Highlighted Team (AZ Alkmaar):
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.