AZ Alkmaar vs Celtic: Hoops face tough test

AZ Alkmaar vs Celtic: Hoops face tough test

Kick-off: 1915, 26/08/2021

Stadium: AZ Stadion

TV: Premier Sports

Celtic are in pole position to qualify for the Europa League group stage after a 2-0 first-leg win over AZ Alkmaar in Glasgow.

However, the Dutch side did show some encouraging signs going forward in that contest and this promises to prove a tricky trip to Holland.

We’re taking 6/5 for a home victory in the return fixture for our first AZ Alkmaar vs Celtic prediction.

A Look At AZ Alkmaar’s Betting Odds

Alkmaar have enjoyed a cracking couple of years in Holland’s top flight and really do warrant respect.

They were only pipped to the Eredivisie title by Ajax on goal difference during a curtailed campaign two seasons ago and then finished a solid third last term.

AZ also performed with credit in the Europa League, picking up eight points in a tough pool but just missing out on qualifying behind Napoli and Real Sociedad.

Losing leading scorer Myron Boadu to Monaco was a big blow while highly-rated winger Calvin Stengs is now with Nice.

However, former PSV youth team coach Pascal Jansen is great at bringing through youngsters and there were some good wins in pre-season friendlies, with Panathinaikos and Sociedad beaten.

Manchester United were fortunate to leave this ground with a point in October 2019 and a tough test awaits the Hoops.

Looking at the AZ Alkmaar vs Celtic odds, we like 5/1 for new striker Vangelis Pavlidis to net first as the Greece international had a good scoring record with Willem II.

A Look At Celtic’s Betting Odds

Admittedly, Celtic have shrugged off a slow start to the season in fine style, with Saturday’s 6-0 rout of St Mirren making it 24 goals scored in six straight wins.

David Turnbull hit his first career hat-trick over the weekend, Liel Abada bagged a brace and Odsonne Edouard was also on target.

Saints did have Alan Power dismissed after just 19 minutes but Ange Postecoglou was still justifiably delighted with that display.

“Right to the end, we were pushing,” the Celtic boss told BBC Scotland. “We set off at a good tempo and put them under pressure.

“The sending off enabled us to control the game very well. We want to be relentless in our pursuit of playing our football. This was a good test of that.”

This will be Celtic’s toughest task of the season so far, though, even including their Champions League exit at the hands of Midtjylland.

Postecoglou also has the distraction of Sunday’s first Old Firm derby, with an early kick-off at Ibrox making it a very quick turnaround.

Let’s finish off our AZ Alkmaar vs Celtic betting tips by taking 12/5 for a home win and both teams to score.

Additional stats

Last result:

Celtic 2-0 AZ ALKMAAR

CELTIC 6-0 St Mirren – Liel Abada (2), David Turnbull (3), Odsonne Edouard

Head-to-head: Celtic 2-0 AZ Alkmaar

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