Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Following back-to-back defeats to the likes of Zenit and Dundalk, Maccabi Tel Aviv recorded their first win in Group D on 20 October, with the team beating AZ Alkmaar at AFAS Stadion. Thanks to the triumph the Israeli outfit stayed in the race for a place in the Europa League knockout stages, but they can’t afford any complacency in Thursday’s football game against AZ. Maccabi were beaten by Maccabi Haifa and Hapoel Be’er Sheva in previous two league games and that is the main reason why we are not tempted to put our money on the hosts this time out. AZ Alkmaar are desperate to grab something from Thursday’s Europa League clash and we predict that the visitors are going to spoil Maccabi’s party at Winner Stadium. Taking everything into account, the two teams seem to be evenly matched at the moment and share of spoils appears on the cards.
Highlighted Player (Eitan Tibi):
Eitan Tibi is a profesional footballer who plays for Maccabi Tel Aviv. Born in Jerusalem on 16 November, 1987, Tibi started his senior career at his hometown club Beitar Jerusalem. After ending his spell with Beitar in 2010 he moved to Charleroi and it has to be noted that the made nine league appearances for the Belgium outfit in the 2010/2011 season. The Israeli defender then returned to his homeland, signing a contract with Ironi Kiryat Shmona, but he spent no more than one season at the club. In the summer of 2012 he signed a three-year contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv and he has been playing for the club ever since. His main position is centre back, but he is capable of playing as a left back as well. In 2012 Eitan Tibi made his Israel debut against Czech Republic and he has established himself as a first-team regular. He started the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Italy, but Israel suffered a 3-1 loss to Giampiero Ventura’s troops in their opener.
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.