Manchester United will look to make it two wins from two in the Europa League when they travel to AZ Alkmaar on Thursday.
The Red Devils have been struggling for consistency in the Premier League under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season, but could alleviate recent frustrations with three points over the Cheeseheads, putting themselves in an encouraging position in Group L after their opening 1-0 win over Astana.
As for AZ, Arne Slot’s side have been performing valiantly in the Eredivisie this term and currently sit third, but after a 2-2 draw in their European curtain-raiser against Partizan, the Dutch outfit will need to pick up wins in these formative stages of the competition.
Read on for AZ Alkmaar vs Man Utd predictions, preview, team news and TV coverage information.
When is AZ Alkmaar vs Man Utd and where can I watch live?
Competition: Europa League
Venue: Kyocera Stadium
Date: Thursday, 3 October 2019
Kick-off: 5:55 PM BST
TV coverage (UK): BT Sport 2
Ones to watch
AZ Alkmaar: Oussama Idrissi
AZ had to navigate through three sets of Europa League qualifiers to get to the group phase and despite the congested schedule, they still find themselves third in the Dutch top-flight, just a point shy of table-toppers Ajax and PSV. And that stellar form has been largely thanks to the performances of Oussama Idrissi, who has already found the back of the net six times in the league.
Key stat: Oussama Idrissi provided more assists in the Eredivisie last season than any other AZ Alkmaar player (6).
Man Utd: Mason Greenwood
Manchester United’s striker problems have been well documented and if Solskjaer is to find the solution, he might well need to fall back on Mason Greenwood.
The 18-year-old had a wonderful September, scoring in back-to-back games on his Europa League debut against Astana, then in the League Cup against Rochdale.
It’s early days, but we might just have another diamond in the rough at Old Trafford.
Key stat: Greenwood scored his first United goal with his only shot on target against Astana.
Jonas Svensson picked up a red card in AZ’s opening Group L match against Partizan and will sit this fixture out, otherwise Arne Slot has a full squad to select from.
Predicted XI: Bizot; Sugawara, Vlaar, Wuytens, Wijndal; Koopmeiners, Midtsjo, De Wit; Idrissi, Stengs, Boadu.
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Solskjaer has revealed Anthony Martial will not be fit in time to face AZ on Thursday as the Frenchman continues to recover from a hamstring injury, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka faces a race against time to recover from the tonsillitis that kept him out of the Arsenal clash on Monday.
Paul Pogba will also be a huge loss after being ruled out with a recurring foot problem. Solskjaer admitted he doesn’t want to risk the Frenchman as the game will take place on “one of the worst” pitches the United boss has come across.
Axel Tuanzebe was drafted in for the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford and may retain his place. Phil Jones will also miss out after sustaining a knock against Rochdale in the League Cup last week, as will Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Luke Shaw and Eric Bailly.
Diogo Dalot and Angel Gomes could return for this match after the duo were both unavailable for the last two outings, although both face late fitness checks.
Predicted XI: Romero; Dalot, Tuanzebe, Rojo, Young; Fred, Matic, Lingard; Greenwood, Mata, Rashford.
Despite Man Utd’s woes this season, Solskjaer still boasts a squad replete with the kind of quality that can turn it on at any moment and cause destruction. Against lesser opposition, they have struggled, but Solskjaer will know that the pressure is rising at an alarming rate and he will need to pick up wins in these sorts of scenarios, so expect a Man Utd side primed and ready for this fixture.
Scoreline prediction: AZ Alkmaar 0-2 Man Utd