DYNAMO KYIV vs. AZ ALKMAAR
Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex | Tuesday 15th September | 18:00 GMT
In the biggest game for the club in recent history, AZ Alkmaar travel to the Ukraine to face Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League Third Round of Qualifying. Will Burns feels like AZ may not have what it takes to beat the Ukrainian giants… unfortunately.
After the disappointment of calling the season off early last March, when AZ looked to becoming the champions of Eredivisie, Arne Slot’s men had the prospect of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League to pick them back up.
However, on Tuesday night, they travel to the Ukraine to face Dynamo Kiev, a true force for decades in this home country and European competitions. This is the third round of qualifying and it’s certainly not easy.
AZ were given a reprieve this weekend as the KNVB, committed to aiding their clubs in European tournaments, cancelled their opening game to FC Utrecht, so that Slot and his team can concentrate on this one legged fixture.
In the last round, AZ made hard work of their home tie against Czech outfit Viktoria Plzen. A 95th minute penalty which was scored by Teun Koopmeiners, saved their blushes and took the game into extra time at the 1-1 scoreline. Two extra time goals by Albert Gudmundsson saw Alkmaar send the Czech home unhappy but it was far from convincing. If they have any chance on Tuesday, they will need to vastly improve.
We asked Zorya Londonsk’s Andrew Todos about AZ’s opponents on Tuesday and he gave us a tremendous insight into their recent form, tactics and star players. Well worth a read.
Recently Dynamo has embarked on their new Ukrainian Premier League campaign and are undefeated in three games since the season kicked off. The opening day of the league saw Kiev easily defeating Olimpik Donetsk by a 4-1 scoreline. Then they lifted the domestic Super Cup beating rivals Shakhtar Donetsk 3-1 before drawing a 0-0 blank against title challengers Desna.
In addition, we heard (below) that Kiev’s star player Viktor Tsyhakov did not train on Monday and that could spell that he will be unavailable.
We all know there is a four tremendous goal threats at Slot’s disposal with Myron Boadu, Oussama Idrissi, Teun Koopmeiners and Calvin Stengs were all capable of double figures last season.
I think it is a big ask to say that AZ will win on Tuesday, and don’t get me wrong, they could, but Kiev are a strong team. One thing I am sure of, is that I feel AZ could get a goal. Our colleague Andrew Todos wrote: “Dynamo have serious defensive issues. First choice right back – Oleksandr Tymchyk was subbed off inside 35 minutes vs Desna with a groin injury. He will be out for a while. Similarly, centre backs Mykyta Burda and Denys Popov are also unavailable for a prolonged amount of time.”
AZ captain Teun Koopmeiners is always good for a goal notching 16 in all competitions last year and he takes AZ’ spot kicks too. For a high pressure match like this, we could see one of Kyiv’s defenders go in the tricky feet of Boadu, Stengs or Idrissi allowing Koopmeiners a chance to notch
So I have selected two bets for Tuesday night’s big game. Both Teams to Score is best priced at 1.80 at bet365 and if we see an AZ penalty, like the last round, Koopmeiners will score it. He is a HUGE price of 5.60 at Unibet but keep an eye out any other bookies pricing this up before kick off – just in case we see a higher price. The bookies struggle with these games.