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AZ Alkmaar vs Manchester United. UEFA Europa League Group L.

Cars Jeans Stadion.

AZ Alkmaar vs Man United preview: Angel Gomes and Diogo Dalot could return

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Angel Gomes in action for Manchester United
Image: Angel Gomes (pictured) and Diogo Dalot could return after recovering from injury

Team news, key stats and predictions as AZ Alkmaar host Manchester United in the Europa League group stages.

Team news

Thursday's game will come too soon for Manchester United forward Anthony Martial, who has missed the club's last five games with a hamstring injury. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who was absent for Monday's draw with Arsenal, is another doubt.

Phil Jones also missed that game after a knock picked up in the penalty shoot-out win over Rochdale, and looks likely to miss out, but Angel Gomes and Diogo Dalot could return after recovering from their respective issues.

Opta stats

  • This will be the first competitive meeting between AZ Alkmaar and Manchester United.
  • AZ have won just two of their 12 matches against English opposition in European competition (D4 L6), however each of those victories have come on home soil - beating Ipswich 4-2 in 1980-81 UEFA Cup final and most recently beating Newcastle 2-0 in the last 16 of the 2006-07 UEFA Cup.
  • AZ have only won one of their previous six home games in the Europa League (D1 L4), conceding at least two goals in four of those.

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  • Manchester United are unbeaten in their last five Europa League away games (W3 D2) after losing five in a row prior to this run.
  • Marcus Rashford has scored in two of his last three away games in European competition for Manchester United (v Valencia in December 2018 and Paris Saint Germain in March 2019), as many as he had in his previous 13 combined.

Charlie's prediction

It is a game-by-game situation for Manchester United at the moment. You would normally think they would blow these away. From his interviews, it seems as though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to get something out, and it is probably anger and frustration. He can't do that with the young players as he needs them and they have not let him down but he can't do it with the older players as they will want to leave if it gets too much.

What does he do to get more out of them? The confidence seems to have gone and individuals are playing for their own reputation and not the team. Dutch sides are technically good; these will be dangerous and have a go. You still would have thought that United would be too strong for them. It will not be inspiring but it will be a very important result for them.

CHARLIE PREDICTS: 0-1 (15/2 with Sky Bet)

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