Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Despite suffering a heavy 4-0 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford in their last group game, AZ Alkmaar eventually make it to the last 32 of the Europa League. The Eredivisie side continue with their habit of producing much better showings at home than on the travels, and it should come as no surprise bookies see them as favourites to win the first leg.
A man to watch in the home team will be Morocco international Oussama Idrissi, who has been scoring goals for fun in all competitions this term. LASK, on the other hand, are on a three-game winning run in the Europa League ahead of the trip to Holland. Given the attacking potential of the two teams, a lively contest is on the cards at AFAS Stadium, but AZ Alkmaar, who are a real force to be reckoned with at home, are closer to winning the game than LASK.
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 (LASK):
Founded back in 1908, LASK are an Austrian football club that compete in the Bundesliga. Die Laskler play home games at Waldstadion in Pashing. The stadium with the capacity of 7,870 was opened in 1990 and nowadays is known under the name of Raiffeisen Arena. The club, though, welcome their rivals at the 14,000 capacity Linzer Stadion in European competitions.
Back in the 1964/65 season LASK clinched their first and only Austrian Bundesliga trophy, with the team finishing the campaign one point clear of second-placed Rapid Wien. LASK became the first club outside Vienna to win the domestic title and, to make things even better for the fans, die Laskler clinched the domestic cup the same year.
LASK’s home colours are white and violet, whilst they wear black and white when playing on the travels. In the 2018/2029 season LASK booked their place in the Europa League group stages.