The Europa Conference League final in Prague is tantalisingly close for both teams. West Ham managed to turn things around in the first leg by winning 2-1 in London, but it’s absolutely all to play for here at the AFAS Stadion. Said Benrahma struck from the penalty spot and Michail Antonio grabbed the winner, but a one goal advantage is still a slender lead. AZ have won every single home game in Europe this season and this tie is far from over.
The Hammers will have memories of their Europa League semi-final exit to Eintracht Frankfurt last term and may use it to motivate them to go one better in European competition this time around.
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AZ Alkmaar vs West Ham Predicted Lineups
No surprises for AZ
AZ have used a 4-3-3 formation all season and their tactical setup is fairly easy to predict. There are very few surprises with this team, and you know what you are getting with the Dutch outfit. Club captain Bruno Martins Indi is still a long term absentee. Greek striker Vangelis Pavlidis will continue to lead the line for AZ.
Antonio and Coufal hoping to be passed fit
David Moyes does not often change from his 4-2-3-1 system. The Hammers lost 0-2 away to Brentford at the weekend but they had more than one eye on this fixture. Vladimir Coufal and Michail Antonio both missed the trip to Brentford but could return to the starting XI here. There will be a lot of attention on captain Declan Rice. West Ham’s best player is strongly linked with a move away from the club in the summer, but for now he is ‘fully focused’ on the end of this campaign.
AZ Alkmaar vs West Ham team stats
Strong shooting accuracy for AZ
The Dutch outfit average exactly 2 goals per game and only 1.03 against. They have strong underlying metrics to support this. Their SOT rate of 5.75 in each fixture is noticeable with just 2.72 against. They are generally quite a clean team racking up only 1.56 cards in each contest.
Lack of cards a theme in West Ham games
West Ham average 1.06 goals per game and have underachieved significantly compared to their xG of 1.27. Their xG against of 1.41 is very close to their goals conceded mark. The Hammers average similar shots for and against. They have conceded a large proportion of shots on target though (4.39).
David Moyes’ men average 5.36 corners per game which is slightly on the high side. They’ve conceded 5.17 in each fixture and corners have been sizeable in West Ham games. Cards have definitely been on the low side at just 2.56 on average. The Hammers themselves have been an extremely clean team in racking up just 1.17 cards per game.
AZ Alkmaar vs West Ham shots and shots on target stats
Odgaard and Pavlidis likely to shoot regularly
The home team average over 15 shots per game and the two main protagonists are Jens Odgaard and Vangelis Pavlidis. Both players average well over 3 shots per 90 mins and can be expected to have several attempts here. Adding either to your AZ Alkmaar bet builder could be a sensible play. Two other players worth considering in the shots market are Sven Mijnans and Tijjani Reijnders.
Lack of accuracy a problem for The Hammers
The duo of Lucas Paqueta and Jarrod Bowen both average around two shots per game but only around 25% accuracy, which is disappointing. Lack of accuracy is a big theme in this whole squad. Michail Antonio could lead the line and Said Benrahma potentially being on penalties might make him appealing. He averages exactly 3 shots per 90 mins and could be worth looking at in your West Ham bet builder.
AZ Alkmaar vs West Ham goals and assists stats
Pavlidis and Odgaard stand out again
Between the two of them, Pavlidis and Odgaard have 21 goals and 9 assists. If AZ are to get back into this tie, then there’s a good chance that at least one of them will be involved in a goal. For those feeling adventurous: taking either to score or assist in your AZ Alkmaar bet builder will offer some value. Right back Yukinari Sugawara has 8 assists and could be a supply line down that side of the field.
Benrahma could be the main threat
Said Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen lead the West Ham scoring charts, but only with six and five goals each. The simple fact is that the Hammers have lacked goals all season and nobody else really sticks out. Bowen and Benrahma lead the team with assists, but the Hammers have generally lacked playmakers all year. Bowen could be dangerous on the break here.
AZ Alkmaar vs West Ham passing stats
AZ likely to dominate the ball
The Dutch side average over 53% possession and dominated the ball in the first leg with as much as 59%. It is likely that AZ will once again rack up several passes with defenders Pantelis Hatzidiakos and Sam Beukema likely to lead the stats. Midfielder Jordy Clasie is another to look out for.
Declan Rice impressive in counter-attacking system
West Ham only average 41.40% possession and are known for sitting back and then counter-attacking under David Moyes. Midfielder Declan Rice is the obvious stand-out player for potential passes. He is the engine and heartbeat of the team and averages 55.5 passes per 90 minutes which is impressive considering the style and tactics of the team.
AZ Alkmaar vs West Ham fouls and cards stats
Physical unit Antonio will be tough to handle
AZ are generally a clean team and don’t have a high card average. Midfielder Jordy Clasie and left back Milos Kerkez have the highest foul average on this list. Kerkez along with right back Sugawara are likely to be tested the most here, whilst one of the defenders, possibly Hatzidiakos will have to deal with the physicality of Michail Antonio.
Michail Antonio can be a tough matchup for anyone. He gets fouled regularly (2.24 times per 90) and is clever enough to know how to win cheap free kicks. Taking either AZ defender Hatzidiakos or Beukema for one or more foul in your AZ Alkmaar bet builder could be worth considering. Bowen and Benrahma have high dribbling rates and will be tough customers for the AZ fullbacks, whilst Lucas Paqueta probably offers the biggest challenge in midfield.
AZ Alkmaar vs West Ham key matchups
Pantelis Hatzidiakos vs Michail Antonio
Milos Kerkez vs Jarrod Bowen
Jordy Clasie vs Lucas Paqueta
West Ham Cards and Fouls Stats
Kehrer could be vulnerable to the AZ attack
The London outfit have been quite a clean team this season. Declan Rice and Vladimir Coufal have five cards but nobody else has more than four. Paqueta averages 2.13 fouls per 90, whilst Thilo Kehrer is another candidate for fouls. Declan Rice generally plays quite a tidy game this season. For someone in his position to average just 0.64 fouls per 90 is quite low.
The two key players for AZ Alkmaar are Odgaard and Pavlidis. They also happen to be the most fouled so it makes sense for the opposition to target them. Nayef Aguerd might be tasked to deal with the Greek forward Pavlidis, whilst Aaron Cresswell will have his hands full with Odgaard. Both fullbacks will be tested because Myron van Brederode and Kerkez look dangerous on the left and are fouled quite regularly. Kehrer or potentially Coufal look like the best options to add to your West Ham bet builder for a foul.
AZ Alkmaar vs West Ham key matchups
Nayef Aguerd vs Vangelis Pavlidis
Aaron Cresswell vs Jens Odgaard
Thilo Kehrer vs Myron van Brederode
AZ Alkmaar vs West Ham United
This landed in the first leg. Away goals don’t count and with everything on the line this could get frantic and end to end.
The hosts have scored in five of their last six while the Hammers have only kept one clean sheet in their last six.
AZ average over five shots per 90 match and West Ham conceded an average of 4.39.
The hosts have registered four or more shots on target in every one of their Europa Conference League home matches this season.
Averages 1.43 SOT per 90 and will lead the line for AZ.
The Greek has tested the opposition’s goalkeeper in five of his last six appearances for AZ.
He had three shots on target in the first leg and will likely be on penalty duty. The Algerian averages more than a SOT per 90 this season.
With AZ trailing there are likely to be spaces to exploit in transition and Benrahma is a threat from a wide range of angles.
Benrahma has also registered at least one shot on target in each of his last three matches, clearly aiming to finish the season strongly.