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Dec 2, 2021 at 5.45pm UK
AZAZ Alkmaar
2-1
SittardFortuna Sittard
Pavlidis (41'), Karlsson (51')
Hatzidiakos (57')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Flemming (9')
Musaba (13')

Preview: AZ Alkmaar vs. Fortuna Sittard - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: AZ Alkmaar vs. Fortuna Sittard - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Eredivisie clash between AZ Alkmaar and Fortuna Sittard, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Seeking to move out of the relegation zone, Fortuna Sittard take a trip to the AFAS Stadium to take on AZ Alkmaar in round 15 of the Eredivisie.

The hosts, meanwhile, head into the game on a run of three consecutive draws across all competitions and will be looking to snap this streak and move into the top half of the standings.


Match preview

AZ Alkmaar's poor start to the season continued last Sunday when they played out an uneventful goalless draw against Vitesse at the Gelredome Stadium.

In a drab contest where clear-cut chances were at a premium, both sides were guilty of lethargic displays in the final third as the game finished with just one shot on target shared between the sides.

Prior to that, De Kaaskoppen sealed their place in the knockout stages of the Conference League courtesy of a 1-1 draw with Czech Republic outfit Jablonec at the Stadion Strelnice.

Pascal Jansen's men have now failed to pick up a win in any of their most recent four games in all competitions, the second time they have failed to taste victory in four games this season.

It is worth noting that six of those eight games have come on the road, highlighting their struggle to perform in enemy territory, where they boast the Eredivisie's 12th-best record with seven points from eight games.

AZ Alkmaar, who secured an impressive third-placed finish last season, currently find themselves in the bottom half of the league standings as they sit in 12th place after managing just two wins from their opening 13 games.

However, next up for the two-time champions is an opposing side who they are unbeaten against in the last seven years, picking up six wins and one draw in that time, and they will feel confident about securing the desired results.

Having finished 11th in the league last campaign, signs of struggle this season were on show in Fortuna Sittard's curtain-raiser on August 14, when they came from behind to snatch an unconvincing 2-1 win over Twente.

Sjors Ultee's side would fail to win any of their subsequent six outings, picking up two draws and losing four before snapping the run with a slender 1-0 win over Cambuur two months later courtesy of George Cox's 86th-minute strike.

This was followed by a 1-1 draw away to Willem II Tilburg on October 22, before claiming an impressive 3-0 cup win over second-tier Top Oss a little under one week later.

However, this turnaround was short-lived as they lost their next four games on the bounce, with a 4-1 defeat at home against Groningen being the latest of their underwhelming results.

Having amassed just nine points from 13 games this season, Fortuna Sittard find themselves second but one in the Eredivisie table, only above PEC Zwolle.

This disappointing start to the season has been in no small part owing to their struggles at the defensive end of the pitch, where they boast the division's poorest record with 32 goals conceded.

AZ Alkmaar Eredivisie form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D

AZ Alkmaar form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D

Fortuna Sittard Eredivisie form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Fortuna Sittard form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L


Team News

Norwegian youngster Hakon Evjen is out of contention after trudging off the pitch with an injury shortly after the hour mark in the Conference League draw with Jablonec last Thursday.

Despite failing to find the target in any of the last four games, Jesper Karlsson and Vangelis Pavlidis have been vital for AZ Alkmaar this season, boasting a combined 16 goal involvements in 13 games, and we expect the attacking duo to lead the line once again.

At the opposite end of the pitch, we expect to see former Stoke City man Bruno Martins Indi and Pantelis Chatzidiakos pair at the heart of the defence, shielding Peter Vindahl Jensen between the sticks.

Fortuna Sittard, on the other hand, remain without the services of Cape Verde forward Lisandro Semedo, who continues his long journey to full fitness after sustaining a severe injury while on international duty against Senegal back in June.

Thirty-one-year-old defender Roel Janssen will also play no part in the game as he serves the first of his three-game suspension after receiving his marching orders in the defeat against Groningen last time out.

AZ Alkmaar possible starting lineup:
Vindahl; Sugawara, Chatzidiakos, Martins Indi, Wijndal; Midtsjo, Clasie, Witry; Wit, Karlsson, Pavlidis

Fortuna Sittard possible starting lineup:
Osch; Tirpan, Angha, Lonwijk, Cox; Tekie, Rienstra; Noslin, Ferati, Seuntjens; Flemming


We say: AZ Alkmaar 2-0 Fortuna Sittard

Fortuna Sittard need to turn their fortunes around sooner rather than later after defeat against Groningen last time out left them languishing in the relegation zone. However, they have struggled for results against AZ Alkmaar in recent history and we are tipping the hosts to come away with all three points and heap more misery on their floundering visitors.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data



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Eredivisie Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1PSV EindhovenPSV19151347242346
2Ajax1914325945545
3Feyenoord20133446192742
4FC Twente2011543122938
5AZ AlkmaarAZ20113637241336
6Vitesse2011362728-136
7Cambuur209383340-730
8FC UtrechtUtrecht198563326729
9NEC207582530-526
10Heerenveen207492028-825
11Groningen205782329-622
12Go Ahead Eagles1963101931-1221
13Heracles1954102126-519
14RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk194782130-919
15Willem II2053121839-2118
16Sparta RotterdamSparta192891628-1214
17Fortuna SittardSittard1934122048-2813
18PEC Zwolle2033141232-2012
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