Top spot in Group L of the Europa League would be at stake when Manchester United face off against AZ Alkmaar at Old Trafford on Thursday December 12th. Clinching top spots would mean avoiding the big teams that will be dropping down from the Champions League soon. United require just a draw to qualify for the knockout phase of the Europa League as group leaders. A defeat would, however, hand that title over to AZ. Both teams played out a goalless draw at the reverse fixture in October, the first ever meeting in Europe.
In the space of one week, the overall mood around Manchester United has taken a complete 360 degree turn. In that time, they have beaten a Mourinho-led Tottenham Hotspurs at home, and defeated their arch rivals, Manchester City, at the Etihad. United will want to ride the wave of momentum into this match and will be hoping to win three consecutive matches. A feat they’ve rarely achieved in more recent memory.
Although Man Utd has already qualified, they haven’t exactly been setting the tournament ablaze with their performance. In five matches, they only scored six goals, with three of those goals taking place against a single opponent, Partizan Beograd. While they haven’t scored much, they did only concede two goals, keeping four clean sheets in five matches.
With a busy Premier League schedule in the offing over the festive period, Ole may be leaning on the side of caution and might be naming a fringe side as he did in their last match against Astana, which they lost 2-1. Should he decide to keep the same lineup, then the likes of Mason Greenwood, Axel Tuanzebe, and Tahith Chong should be in line to start.
AZ’s coach, Arne Slot, has already declared his team’s intentions: they are in England to win and top the group. The visitors have scored fifteen goals in five games at an average of three per game, although it must be said that eleven of those goals came against one opponent, Astana. They’ve conceded only four goals throughout the whole competition, and kept three clean sheets in five matches.
AZ will be missing their highest goal scorer, Myron Boadu, through suspension after his red card in their last match. Myron Boadu has four goals and two assists in the competition and will be a major setback for the visitors. Dutch teams do not tend to do well at Old Trafford; in eight appearances they’ve lost seven and won one.
While AZ is yet to lose in Europe this season after eleven matches, they have only won twice on the road in their last eleven European matches.
AZ’s top scorer will be missing, but head coach Arne Slot has promised the team they are in England to win. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will most likely rotate his squad and probably repeat the team that started the last match.
It is highly likely that the Red Devils will keep the same squad from their last Europa League match. AZ on the other hand, are not planning on using a luxury they cannot afford. They want to win and top the group and will most likely field their strongest squad. In light of this, it is hard to see a United win. We reckon it’s going to be either a win for AZ or a draw. So, placing a bet on double chance for AZ, scores highest in our betting index. In terms of goals, both sides have been involved in high-scoring games recently. Four of the last five games involving AZ have ended with over 2.5 goals; for United, five of the last five have ended with over 2.5 goals. You can place your bet at Nairabet. Currently the bookmaker offers you the following ods: 1.75. If you need more information on Nairabet just take a look at our Nairabet review. You can find more sports betting tips here.
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