Michael Owen believes Manchester United will succumb to a shock defeat to AZ Alkmaar in their Europa League clash on Thursday.
The Red Devils struggled to a winning start against Astana in their group stage opener, with Mason Greenwood scoring the only goal of the game.
What will United face against AZ? Five things to know…
- AZ are currently third in the Dutch Eredivisie, losing just once.
- They drew 2-2 with Partizan in their Europa League group stage opener despite going down to 10 men.
- They’re having to play this fixture at ADO Den Haag’s Kyocera Stadium.
- And Owen believes this, coupled with United’s poor form, present a big challenge for Solskjaer.
- United have won just three of their nine games in all competitions this season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men face an in-form Alkmaar side on Thursday, with the Cheeseheads currently sat third in the Dutch Eredivisie, just one point behind joint-leaders Ajax and PSV Eindhoven.
And to add to the challenge, the game will be played on an artificial pitch at ADO Den Haag’s Kyocera Stadium, due to a roof collapse at AZ’s AFAS Stadium – something Owen highlights as a real obstacle for Man Utd.
“AZ Alkmaar sit third in the Eredivisie table, just one point behind Ajax and PSV Eindhoven,” Owen told BetVictor.
“I expect the hosts to keep all three points even though United are unbeaten in their last 12 Europa League ties [W9 D3].
“Do note the game is being played on an artificial surface at the ground of Den Haag in The Hague, with Alkmaar’s ground unavailable after the roof at their own AFAS Stadium collapsed last month.
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“United struggled to beat Astana in their opening tie and have made their worst start to a league season since 1989-90, with just nine points from their opening seven games.”
AZ are unbeaten at home in seven matches across all competitions so far in 2019/20.