Manchester United vs AZ Alkmaar Preview

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Image from Squawka

On the back of two magnificent performances last week against Jose's Spurs and Pep's City, United aim to maintain this win streak in their final Europa League group stage game against AZ Alkmaar. If Manchester United win or draw, they will qualify top of the group over the Dutch side but a defeat could see them face any of the Champions League dropouts such as Inter, Ajax or Benfica.

Team News:
Jesse Lingard will miss the game after picking up a knock in the Manchester Derby but should be fit to face Everton on the weekend. Paul Pogba is back in training alongside Rojo, Dalot, Bailly and Fosu-Mensah but none of them are in contention to start. Nemanja Matic is in the training squad along with youngsters, Laid, Williams, Garner, Gomes, Chong and of course, Mason Greenwood and all could feature but it is likely that, while some changes will be made, United will field a strong squad.

Interesting Facts:

  • Mason Greenwood has two goals and one assist in the Europa League which makes up 50% of United's Europa League goals
  • Sergio Romero is yet to concede in the Europa League and is set to make his 50th United appearance
  • Alkmaar have never won in England previously losing 4-1 to Arsenal in 2009 
Predicted Team and Score:
United are likely to make a few changes to keep things fresh but not enough to weaken the team too much as the Alkmaar side is still a competent one. Romero is almost guaranteed to start his 50th game and a changed back four with Young, Tuanzebe and Williams likely to come in and Maguire the defender to remain in the back four. Fred could be rested for Matic and Mata could get a rare start this season. Pereira and Greenwood could also start to give the Derby Day goalscorers a break with James likely to remain in the team in an attempt to break his duck. 

Romero, Young (c), Tuanzebe, Maguire, Williams, Matic, McTominay, Pereira, Mata, James, Greenwood

As for the score, I expect a show. This is a chance for those left on the sidelines to shine and squeeze back into the squad or audition for another club and emphatically maintain United's top place in the group. Alkmaar are a good side but have their deficiencies that United can capitalise on. 

Predicted Score: 3-0

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