AZ Alkmaar vs Manchester United Match Preview and Predictions

Time: 22:00

Manchester United will be hoping for consistency as they travel to the Netherlands to take on AZ Alkmaar in a Group L clash.

Already into their worst start in the Premier League, United have come under fire for mediocrity and lack of tenacity in their play. They were made to sweat against a lowly Astana squad in their group opener as they underwhelmed to register a 1-0 win over the Kazakh side.

Since this victory two weeks ago, the Red Devils have been beaten by West Ham in the league, needed penalties to beat Rochdale in the League Cup and held to 1-1 draw by Arsenal despite taking a lead in the Monday clash.

The fixture has drawn the ire of United boss Ole Gunnar Solksjaer as he criticized the decision to play the game on an artificial pitch, which he has described as one of the worst he has seen.

He lamented as to how a competitive match of the highest calibre as that of the Europa League could be played on such a pitch despite Holland having a temperate climate that allows for natural grass pitches.

Despite being used to artificial grounds in his native Norway, Solksjaer expressed dismay at the playing conditions that could give Alkmaar an advantage over them.

The hosts are currently playing their home matches in the Hague, 52 miles away from where they are based after part of the roof at the AFAS Stadium collapsed in August.

As a result, Pogba has not travelled with the squad as a precaution following concern on further injuries and also in order to rest and receive further treatment on an ankle problem.

The visitors last played on an artificial pitch in the opening of their Champions League game last season, winning 3-0 away to Young Boys.

Alkmaar were held to a 2-2 draw by Partizan Belgrade in their opening group match. They come into the game on the back of a 2-0 win over Heracles in the Eredivisie over the weekend, extending their victories to four.

They sit third on the league table, just one point behind Ajax and PSV Eindhoven. Their goals come from midfield with Calvin Stengs being the key man to watch.

A big number of the United regular starters are unavailable with Aaron Win-Bissaka, Luke Shaw, Ashley Young and Eric Bailly all missing.

Defender Phil Jones is out of contention for the game as he is out on injury that he sustained against Astana. Solskjaer may be forced to play either Harry Maguire or Victor Lindelof to partner Axel Tuanzebe in the centre of defence.

Sergio Romero has been used as United keeper for Carabao Cup and Europa League games and is expected to continue in that role.

Angel Gomes and Diogo Dalot are in the travelling party after recovering from knocks that sidelined them for the past week.

Head to Head:

This will be the first meeting between the two in the Europa League.

Tip:

AZ Alkmaar win

Odd:

3.00

Stake:

Large

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