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Dec 18, 2021 at 7pm UK
AZAZ Alkmaar
Willem IIWillem II
de Wit (9'), Wellenreuther (76' og.), Gudmundsson (86', 89')
Clasie (62'), Pavlidis (80')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Kabangu (36')
Saddiki (31')
Michelis (75')

Preview: AZ Alkmaar vs. Willem II - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: AZ Alkmaar vs. Willem II - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Eredivisie clash between AZ Alkmaar and Willem II, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Looking to pick up their sixth consecutive victory across all competitions, AZ Alkmaar play host to Willem II at the AFAS Stadion on Saturday.

The visitors, in stark contrast, have lost each of their most recent seven games across all competitions and will be aiming to end this dry spell.

Match preview

AZ Alkmaar sealed their place in the quarter-finals of the KNVB beker last Wednesday when they cruised to a comfortable 4-1 win over Heracles Almelo.

This followed a thrilling 2-1 victory away to reigning champions Ajax on December 12, when Vangelis Pavlidis and Zakaria Aboukhlal scored either side of Sebastien Haller's 73rd-minute equaliser to hand the hosts just their second defeat of the season.

AZ have now won each of their most recent five games in all competitions, scoring 12 goals and conceding four, while they are unbeaten in eight, stretching back to a 1-0 loss against Feyenoord on November 7.

After a slow start to the season, where they lost four of their opening five games, this upturn in form has seen Pascal Jansen's side rise to eighth place in the Eredivisie standings, one point behind Cambuur in the final Conference League playoff spot.

Next up for AZ Alkmaar is an opposing side who they have failed to defeat in five of the last seven meetings between the sides, losing four and claiming two wins in that time.

Meanwhile, Willem II were left empty-handed once again as they fell to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Cambuur at the Koning Willem II Stadion.

Following an uneventful first half, Godfried Roemeratoe pulled one back for the hosts following goals from Roberts Uldrikis and Robin Maulun before Mitchell Paulissen restored Cambuur's two-goal lead.

Fred Grim's men have now lost each of their most recent seven games on the bounce across all competitions, while they have failed to pick up a win in any of their last 10, dating back to a 2-1 win over PSV back in September.

This horrid run has seen Willem II drop to 13th place on the log, six points above Fortuna Sittard in the relegation playoff spot and this has been down to their struggles at the defensive end of the pitch, where they boast the division's third-worst record after shipping 31 goals in 16 games.

AZ Alkmaar Eredivisie form:
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

AZ Alkmaar form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Willem II Eredivisie form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

AZ will take to the pitch without the services of 22-year-old forward Jelle Duin, who sustained a knee injury back in November.

Hakon Evjen is set to sit out his seventh consecutive game after the Norwegian midfielder picked up an injury against Jablonec on November 25.

Willem II, on the other hand, will have to make do with the absence of Wesley Spieringhs and Freek Heerkens, who are both recuperating from knee injuries.

They are joined on the club's injury table by Robbin Ruiter, who picked up a shoulder problem back in August, and defender Emil Bergstrom, who sustained an injury against Sparta Rotterdam on November 6.

AZ Alkmaar possible starting lineup:
Vindahl; Wijndal, Martins Indi, Chatzidiakos, Sugawara; Midtsjo, Reijnders, De Wit; Karlsson, Pavlidis, Gudmundsson

Willem II possible starting lineup:
Wellenreuther; Owusu, Jenssen, Michelis, Kohn; Saddiki, Llonch; Saglam, Kohlert, Nunnely; Okyere Wriedt

We say: AZ Alkmaar 2-0 Willem II

After a slow start to the season, AZ Alkmaar have hit their stride in recent weeks and will be aiming to keep the juggernaut rolling and move into the European qualification places. Given the gulf in class and quality between the two sides, we predict they will claim all three points against a floundering Willem II side.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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Eredivisie Table
1PSV EindhovenPSV18141346242243
5AZ AlkmaarAZ18102635231232
6FC Twente189542822632
7FC UtrechtUtrecht1885533231029
11Go Ahead Eagles186391929-1021
14Willem II1853101836-1818
15RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk183781930-1116
16Sparta RotterdamSparta182791527-1213
17Fortuna SittardSittard1834111946-2713
18PEC Zwolle181314932-236
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1Paris Saint-GermainPSG19144139172246
5Montpellier HSCMontpellier199463324931
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