AZ Alkmaar vs Aston Villa Prediction - Soccer Picks 10/26/23
AZ Alkmaar (1-0-1) vs Aston Villa (1-0-1)
Thursday, October 26, 2023 at 12:45 pm (AFAS Stadion)
AZ Alkmaar +257/Aston Villa +120- Over/Under: 2.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds
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AZ Alkmaar will welcome Aston Villa in Round 3 of the UEFA Europa Conference League on Thursday, 26 October 2023 at AFAS Stadion. The situation in competitive Group E is quite peculiar as all four teams (Zrinjski and Legia Warsaw) have three points from the opening two rounds. Every point is precious here, so make sure to check out our AZ Alkmaar vs Aston Villa betting preview and prediction.
AZ Alkmaar (Form and News)
UEFA Europa Conference League (UECL) regulars AZ Alkmaar are locked in an ultra-competitive Group E that saw all four sides level on three points after two rounds. The Cheeseheads, who made it to the knockout stages in both of their two previous campaigns in this competition, have recovered well from losing in Round 1, going unbeaten in six successive matches across all competitions since (W5, D1).
Pascal Jansen’s men have been particularly strong on home soil, winning each of their last three matches at the AFAS Stadion without conceding. They also boast an unblemished home record in the UECL group stages (W7), but continuing that against Aston Villa looks a tall order as AZ are winless across their last seven meetings with English opposition, while they’ve managed just two wins across 14 such H2Hs historically (D5, L7).
Hot stat: AZ are yet to concede a first-half goal at home this season.
Player to watch: AZ hitman Vangelis Pavlidis has scored in six successive club matches, including a hat-trick in a 3-0 victory over Heerenveen on Saturday.
Mayckel Lahdo will miss the game against Villa due to a suspension. Sem Westerveld (knee) and Mees de Wit (knee) are questionable to play on Thursday.
Aston Villa (Form and News)
AZ Alkmaar’s record against English teams will be music to the ears of an Aston Villa side in red-hot form. The Villans are sitting in the top five of the Premier League standings following a 4-1 destruction of West Ham, the side who beat AZ in last season’s UECL semi-finals. Manager Unai Emery admitted his squad is producing “something special”, a feeling that would only be intensified if the Villans can secure back-to-back European victories after a last-gasp 1-0 win against Zrinjski in Round 2.
Form on the road could be the only problem area for Villa at present, as they’ve managed just one win from their last four away fixtures (D1, L2). Emery will again look to his attack to drive them to victory in just their second-ever meeting with Dutch opposition (W1), as his side have netted 19 times across their last eight matches, including a six-goal haul against Brighton last month!
Player to watch: Douglas Luiz became the first player in history to score in six consecutive Premier League games at Villa Park on Sunday. However, just one of his last eight goals has come away from home, coincidentally coming in UECL qualifying against Hibernian.
Unai Emery cannot count on Emiliano Buendia (knee), Kortney Hause (knee), Tyrone Mings (knee), Alex Moreno (injury), and Jacob Ramsey (injury).
AZ Alkmaar vs Aston Villa H2H Record
It’s going to be the first-ever meeting between AZ Alkmaar and Aston Villa.
AZ Alkmaar vs Aston Villa Odds
Those who think the hosts can get three points in this duel can back AZ Alkmaar to win at +257. A draw is at +265, while Aston Villa's win can be backed at +120. When it comes to goals, Over 2.5 is at -118, and Under 2.5 is at +105. Both teams to score bettors can take BTTS YES at -145 or BTTS NO at +130. Find out more about soccer odds here.
AZ Alkmaar vs Aston Villa Betting Pick
AZ Alkmaar lost just one game this season (15 matches played in all competitions). Interestingly, it was a UECL tilt against Zrinjski on the road, when AZ dropped a massive 3-0 lead and suffered a 4-3 defeat. Since that loss, AZ won five of six games, and are on a four-game winning streak. It seems like AZ improved defensively following that 4-3 loss and allowed only two goals in the 6-game stretch.
However, it’s going to be challenging to keep the visitors from scoring on Thursday. Aston Villa failed to score just once in 14 matches (3-0 loss to Liverpool in EPL) in all competitions this season. Although the Villans are not particularly good on the road, they have what it takes to score at least a goal at AFAS Stadion. While I am pretty sure both teams will score here, I am not quite happy with the odds, so I’ll spice things up with BTTS YES and Over 2.5 goals.