Aston Villa host AZ Alkmaar at Villa Park in a must-win Group E match in 2023-24 UEFA Europa Conference League.
Victory will see Villa move top if better Legia Warsaw’s result elsewhere, whilst AZ Alkmaar could go top with a win coupled with defeat for Legia Warsaw.
Matty Cash is available for Aston Villa after he was substituted with a shoulder injury during their Premier League loss at Nottingham Forest.
Jhon Duran (toe) is a doubt but Tyrone Mings (knee), Jacob Ramsey (foot) and Emiliano Buendia (ACL) remain ruled out.
AZ Alkmaar will welcome Lahdo back into contention after he was suspended for their home defeat a fortnight ago.
Mees de Wit (foot) and Sem Westerveld (knee) remain absent.
When is Kick-Off?
Aston Villa host AZ Alkmaar at Villa Park at 8pm GMT on Thursday 9 November, live on TNT Sport 2 in the UK.
- Aston Villa won their only previous meeting against AZ Alkmaar by 4-1 result last month.
- AZ Alkmaar are playing away to Aston Villa competitively for the first time ever.
- John McGinn has scored in each of Villa’s last two group matches.
- AZ Alkmaar have kept just one clean sheet in three away matches in this competition this season (W1, D1, L1), during which they conceded seven goals in their last two away games.
With just one defeat in seven home games across all competitions so far this season, Villa will be glad to be back at Villa Park with a chance to reset after a surprisingly lacklustre loss at Forest where their end product just deserted them and sloppy marking was ruthlessly punished.
AZ Alkmaar meanwhile aren’t totally out of the group but a win here is imperative if want to avoid two absolute must-win final group matches, although their defence must first improve upon that awful effort at home a fortnight ago whilst tidying their end product up front.
Villa though are a difficult team to beat at home and after their sloppiness and uncharacteristic poor finishing at Forest, I do seriously expect them to mount a response which could well spell trouble for the Dutch visitors if not careful.
Prediction: Aston Villa 2-1 AZ Alkmaar
Result: Aston Villa 2-1 AZ Alkmaar