2021-22 UEFA Europa League Play-Offs: Second Leg – AZ Alkmaar vs Celtic

AZ Alkmaar look to overturn a two goal deficit as they welcome Celtic to AFAS Stadion in the second leg of their 2021-22 UEFA Europa League Play-Off. 

Having conceded twice in Glasgow, AZ Alkmaar know that they must score three goals without reply if want to stand any chance at advancing to the Group Stage.

 

Team News

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Jesper Karlsson is set to return for AZ Alkmaar after missing the first leg through suspension.

Owen Wijndal is a doubt after failing to shake off a groin injury which kept him out of the first leg.

Celtic have no fresh injury concerns to report with a near full squad available for selection, as Christopher Jullien (knee), Mikey Johnston (hamstring) and Karamoko Dembele (ankle) are ruled out.

 

Stat Attack

  • AZ Alkmaar lost their only previous meeting against Celtic in all European competitions, losing 2-0 in the first leg last week as Kyogo Furuhashi opened the Hoops’ scoring before Timo Letschert netted an own goal.
  • Celtic are unbeaten in three of their last five away trips against Dutch opposition (W2, D1, L2).
  • AZ Alkmaar have kept just two clean sheets in their last six home matches across all European competitions.
  • Celtic have scored first in each of their last eight away matches in all European competitions.

 

Prediction

Having found themselves outplayed in the first leg, AZ Alkmaar simply cannot do anything here other than play attacking football and hope that Celtic’s defence is switched off, simply because I do not see them finding three goals by any other means without conceding.

Celtic meanwhile have scored at least twice in each of their last six matches and are playing with unbelievable confidence, yet do have the Old Firm Derby on Sunday against Rangers but I can’t see many changes here because they will want that third goal to kill this tie off early on.

In fact, I can see them doing just that because their attacking ability is clearly proving an issue for many if any team to live with at present, which makes me feel that this could be a routine task because the Hoops have the momentum.

Prediction: AZ Alkmaar 1-2 Celtic

Result: AZ Alkmaar 2-1 Celtic (Celtic win 3-2 on aggregate!!)

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