AZ Alkmaar vs Maccabi by Meese
Now it's obvious AZ Alkmaar is far way from their good old form, since the team has no victory in last four matches in all competitions. They come from a 2:2 home draw against Vitesse last weekend and even though they had much more of the ball possession, the team could be happy to have earned a point since they were losing for the most of the time and only leveled up the result towards the end of the match.
Visitors were more concrete in first sixty minutes of play and had the double lead thanks to goals from Baker in 23rd and van Wolfswinkel in 58th minute, while the hosts had a lot of trouble to equalize, but deserved it thanks to goals from Muhren in 78th and 87th minute. AZ Alkmaar is now at fifth position having six points less than second placed Ajax and just two more than out of play-off placed Sparta Rotterdam. The team only took a point in the first round of Europa League against Dundalk, while they suffered heavy 5:0 defeat against Zenit in the second round.
Forward Alireza Jahanbakhsh (6/3) is suspended for this one, while they will also miss central defenders Ron Vlaar (7/0) and Jop van der Linden (no performance till now in the season) both due injuries.
Maccabi Tel Aviv had a lot of time to prepare for this match, since their previous official game was in the second round of Europa League when the team suffered narrow 1:0 defeat away from home against Dundalk, back on 29th September.
After two rounds played, the team has no points since they also suffered home defeat against Zenit 3:4 even though they were leading till the very end of the game, having 3:0 lead till 77th minute of the game. As for the domestic league, the team stands at the top of the table with five victories and one draw, being three points above biggest rival Hapoel Beer Sheva. Manager Shota Arveladze should have no fresh injury worries for this one.
Overall impression is that AZ Alkmaar doesn't care that much for Europa League, neither they fully did in previous season. Having in mind that their domestic form is far away from a great one, I don't see them being fully focused for this one. Even if they were, I still see Maccabi being completely competitive here and with bigger probability of walking away with something than what the current odds suggest.