Our football match prediction:
Against all odds, AZ Alkmaar failed to beat Dundalk of Republic of Ireland in the opening match of their Europa League campaign. The Eredivisie team shared the spoils with the Irish outfit in their opener and they will have even bigger fish to fry in Thursday’s football match against Zenit. The Zenitchiki came from three goals behind to beat Maccabi Tel Aviv in their opener and it has to be noted that the star-studded Russian team scored 2+ goals in previous six games in all competitions. It is well known that Zenit are a real force to be reckoned with at home and we predict that Mircea Lucescu’s men are going to cement top position in Group D with a win over AZ Alkmaar. A man to watch in the home team will be former CSKA Moscow attacker Dzyuba, who has netted four goals in the Russian Premier League to date.
Highligted Player (Axel Witsel):
Axel Witsel is Belgian footballer who plays for Russian outfit Zenit Saint Petersburg. The 186-cm-tall midfielder began his senior career at Standard Liege and after spending five years at the Belgian club, he moved to Benfica in 2011. Witsel impressed in the 2011/2012 Primeira Liga campaign and, as a result, Zenit chiefs decided to sign him on 3 September, 2012. The Belgian footballer scored 4 goals in 19 league appearances for the Zenitchiki in the 2012/2013 Russian Premier League campaign and he has been producing fine displays for the Russian outfit ever since he joined the club. Speaking of his international career, Alex Witsel has nine caps for Belgium U-21 side and he made his debut for the first team on 26 March, 2008. The Belgian midfielder represented his homeland at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and he played for the Red Devils at the 2016 European Championship finals as well.
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.