West Ham United vs AZ Alkmaar Match Analysis & Prediction
11/05/2023 10:00 pm
West Ham United and AZ Alkmaar continue their bid to win the Europa Conference League on Thursday when they meet in the first leg of their semi-final tie.
While West Ham sit in 15th place in the Premier League standings, AZ occupy fourth position in the Eredivisie, two points adrift of Ajax.
Having recently suffered three straight defeat in the Premier League, David Moyes has come back under pressure at West Ham, yet the Scot restocked his credit in the back at the weekend.
West Ham claimed a deserved 1-0 victory over Manchester United to move seven points clear of the relegation zone with three matches remaining, likely ensuring their survival in the top flight.
The Hammers have also suffered just four defeats in 14 matches across all competitions, helped by extending their unbeaten run in Europe to 12 games.
Gent pushed West Ham hard in the quarter-finals, leading 2-1 on aggregate at one stage before their opponents surged back, and such a comeback highlighted that Moyes possesses the strongest squad in the competitions.
However, West Ham will need to have learned lessons from this time last year when they under-performed and lost out to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League semi-finals.
Having reached the 1981 UEFA Cup final, AZ are not exactly experiencing new ground in Europe, but this represents their first time in a continental semi-final since featuring in the last four of the UEFA Cup in 2004-05.
Pascal Jansen must show as much priority to the Eredivisie as this competitions with AZ just two points adrift of Europa League qualification and six ahead of fifth-placed Twente with three matches left, one of which is against PSV Eindhoven.
After stunning Lazio in the last 16, AZ overturned a 2-0 aggregate deficit to Anderlecht to ultimately prevail on penalties, setting up an entertaining showdown with West Ham.
AZ have only faced English opposition twice in over 13 year, playing Manchester United in the Europa League group stages where they drew 0-0 at the AFAS Stadion before losing 4-0 at Old Trafford.
West Ham United vs. AZ Alkmaar Head to head
These two teams have previous met in any competitions and this will be their first meeting in the first leg of their Europa Conference League semi-final tie.
11/05/2023West Ham UnitedN/AAZN/AEuropa Conference League
West Ham United Team News
Although Tomas Soucek suffered a head knock during the game against Manchester United, the midfielder was able to complete the 90 minutes and should be passed fit.
Kurt Zouma is likely to miss out with an ankle injury, despite Moyes remaining bashful over the severity of the issue, while goalkeeper Alphonse Areola will return in goal.
West Ham United's Last 5 Matches
23/04/2023AFC Bournemouth0West Ham United4Premier League
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29/04/2023Crystal Palace4West Ham United3Premier League
03/05/2023Manchester City3West Ham United0Premier League
07/05/2023West Ham United1Manchester United0Premier League
AZ Alkmaar Team News
Jens Odgaard is a major doubt for AZ after suffering a thigh injury during the first half of Sunday’s goalless draw with Ajax, with either Mayckel Lahdo or Dani de Wit in line to deputise on the right flank.
The visitors will definately be without Milos Kerkez due to suspension, meaning Mees de Wit could be drafted into the defence at left-back in his place.
AZ Alkmaar's Last 5 Matches
13/04/2023Anderlecht2AZ0Europa Conference League
20/04/2023AZ(P)2Anderlecht0Europa Conference League
West Ham United vs. AZ Alkmaar: Odds and Predictions
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