Only a victory will guarantee the Dutchmen to make it to the knockout phase of the Europa League, and in our Rijeka vs AZ Alkmaar Preview you can see what we expect from this duel.
Rijeka Recent Form & Team News
Although already eliminated, Rijeka claimed their first UEFA Europa League point in Group F during the last round, yet they’ve still conceded 2+ goals in their last four UEL games (D1, L3), including a 4-1 beating in the reverse fixture. They’ve scored 2+ goals themselves in just two of their last nine competitive matches (W2, D2, L5) – however, that was the two most recent ones!
At home, Rijeka have two narrow defeats so far in this group, with the decisive goal scored during the second half in both – whilst Rijeka’s only UEL home goal was struck in the first. In all competitions, it’s two wins across their last five home matches (W2, D1, L2), with all won/lost games being decided by a one-goal margin, and with six of the ten total goals scored in the first half.
Player to watch: Stjepan Lončar has scored in back-to-back matches for Rijeka – his last five goalscoring games featured over 2.5 goals.
Simon Rozman will be without Adam Gnezda Cerin, Momcilo Raspopovic, and Milan Ristovski (foot).
AZ Alkmaar Recent Form & Team News
AZ Alkmaar know a win will guarantee progression to the knockouts for the second season running, although a draw might be enough depending on the other group match. The visitors came back to rescue a draw in their last UEL outing against Napoli, but are winless in their previous three group games (D2, L1).
Away from home, AZ have won three of their last five competitive matches (D1, L1), scoring 2+ goals on three occasions. Dividing matches in half, AZ have seen a clear trend as they are unbeaten across the eight first halves they’ve played away from home this term (W4, D4 – GF10: GA1), but have lost five second halves (W2, D1 – GF5: GA12).
Player to watch: For the away side, Teun Koopmeiners has recorded two goals, two assists, and a penalty miss across AZ’s last three competitive matches.
Hot stat: AZ have scored just once across their last five European away matches (W1, L4).
Pascal Jansen cannot count on Jeremy Helmer (leg) and Jonas Svensson (calf). Jordy Clasie and Ron Vlaar are questionable to feature on Thursday.
After reading our Rijeka vs AZ Alkmaar Preview, do you think the visitors can secure three points? Let us know in the comment section. Follow us on social networks and subscribe to our website for more Europa League news and previews.