AZ welcome FC Utrecht for an Eredivisie showdown at the AFAS Stadion on Sunday morning (11:15 UK time).
Both sides come into this meeting in Alkmaar on respective winning streaks; the hosts won their last two league matches while Utrecht are on a three-game winning streak, and last time out they inflicted the first defeat on Ajax this season.
AZ vs FC Utrecht live stream:
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Where to watch AZ vs FC Utrecht on TV:
- UK: N/A
- US: ESPN+
Scoreline prediction: AZ 2-1 FC Utrecht
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AZ vs FC Utrecht build-up & previous line-ups:
After suffering three straight league defeats — which saw them register three goals while conceding nine times — AZ are finally picking up steam. Pascal Jansen’s men come into this latest round of Eredivisie fixtures on a two-game winning streak having ran out 5-0 winners against Go Ahead Eagles before a 1-3 success on the road at Cambuur which has lifted them to 12th position with a game in hand. Since a 0-3 loss at the hands of Ajax in January 2021 the Cheeseheads have played nine further games at the AFAS Stadion subsequently registering eight wins. The only exception was another 0-3 defeat against PSV Eindhoven. They’ve fared reasonably well against Utrecht at home; across 43 previous Eredivisie showdowns in Alkmaar the visitors have only left with 10 wins while suffering 29 losses, but that most recent AZ success (3-0) came in January 2019.
However, the most recent meeting between the sides at AZ’s home in January 2021 saw Utrecht pick up a 0-1 win, Sander van de Streek securing all three points. René Hake’s men are buoyant following their 0-1 win at Ajax just before the international break. Utrecht became the first side this season to inflict an Eredivisie loss on the champions and that success left them sitting third heading into matchday nine. On top of that, Utrecht stretched their winning streak to three games and they’re unbeaten in four, on the road it’s equally positive. Having gone five games without a win (two defeats and three draws) they’ve won their last two outings without conceding a goal. If results go their way this weekend then Utrecht could be leading the championship.
- AZ (vs Cambuur): Vindahl; Sugawara, Chatzidiakos, Martins Indi, Wijndal; Midtsjö, Clasie; Gudmundsson, De Wit, Karlsson; Pavlidis.
- FC Utrecht (vs Ajax): Paes; Van der Maarel, Van der Hoorn, Janssen, Warmerdam; Van Overeem, Maher; Sylla, Van de Streek, Ramselaar; Douvikas.
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Players to watch: Anastasios Douvikas (FC Utrecht)
Last season’s Eredivisie golden shoe was claimed by a Greek when Giorgos Giakoumakis, then representing VVV‑Venlo, bagged 26 goals across 30 appearances. His compatriot Anastasios Douvikas has every chance to follow in his footsteps. The 22-year-old Athens-born marksman has to date registered four strikes for Utrecht which leaves him two behind current topscorer Guus Til of Feyenoord heading into matchday nine. Sunday’s game in Alkmaar on a one-game scoring drought, before registering a blank in Utrecht’s shock win at Ajax before the international break Douvikas scored in each of their previous three league fixtures with the first against RKC Waalwijk ending a three game run where he was unable to find the net.
Eredivisie 2021/22 recent form:
- AZ: WWLLL
- FC Utrecht: WWWDL
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