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AZ Alkmaar
Eredivisie | Gameweek 28
Apr 8, 2023 at 7pm UK
AFAS Stadion, Alkmaar
Sparta Rotterdam logo

0 - 1

Meerdink (45+4'), Lahdo (87')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Lauritsen (45+1')
Lauritsen (22'), Abels (83')

Preview: AZ Alkmaar vs. Sparta Rotterdam - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Eredivisie clash between AZ Alkmaar and Sparta Rotterdam, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Separated by eight points with seven games left to play in the 2022-23 Eredivisie season, AZ Alkmaar and Sparta Rotterdam lock horns at the AFAS Stadion on Saturday evening.

Off the back of a 3-2 victory in the reverse fixture back in August, the home side set out to complete a league double over their visitors for the first time since 2018.

Match preview

AZ Alkmaar's Jesper Karlsson celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on March 16, 2023© Reuters

Looking to bounce back from a 2-1 defeat just before the international break, AZ Alkmaar had to settle for a share of the spoils courtesy of a 1-1 draw against Heerenveen on Saturday.

Pascal Jansen's men found themselves behind in less than five minutes to Sydney van Hooijdonk's opener before drawing level through Xavier Mous's own goal half an hour into the second period.

While the Cheeseheads remain fourth in the Eredivisie table, they have now fallen two points adrift of PSV Eindhoven in the race for the final automatic European spot.

Awaiting them next is the challenge of an opposing outfit who have been on the receiving end more often than not in this fixture, winning just one of the last 31 meetings across all competitions.

Unbeaten in six of their most recent seven matches on home turf leading up to Saturday's contest, the hosts will be confident of getting the job done in front of their fans once again.

Sparta Rotterdam were denied a fourth straight league victory with a disappointing 3-1 defeat against city rivals Feyenoord at the Sparta Stadion Het Kasteel on Sunday afternoon.

Maurice Steijn's men trailed to Igor Paixao's 12th-minute strike but managed to draw level through Michael Pinto, after which second-half goals from Santiago Gimenez and David Hancko decided the contest.

Having picked up 46 points from their 27 matches so far, De Kasteelheren sit sixth in the standings, a whopping 11 points clear in the race for the final Conference League playoff spot.

Currently with the second-best defensive record away from home in the top tier of Dutch football, Saturday's visitors will be looking to keep things tight at the back en route to another positive result on the road.

AZ Alkmaar Eredivisie form:

AZ Alkmaar form (all competitions):

Sparta Rotterdam Eredivisie form:

Team News

Sem Westerveld remains ruled out of contention for AZ Alkmaar through a knee injury, while Maxim Dekker has not featured since late January due to a long-term problem.

Dani de Wit is also unavailable for the hosts with a leg injury, and the Dutchman is joined on the sidelines by compatriot Bruno Martins Indi, who is battling with a hip injury.

Jesper Karlsson will be targeting an immediate return to the scoresheet after spurning a glorious opportunity to score for a fifth straight game for club and country last time out, where he missed a penalty.

Sparta's Jonathan de Guzman is set to miss a fourth game on the bounce due to a muscle injury that the 35-year-old sustained against Excelsior just over a month ago.

Despite being eligible to play a part for the away side last time out, Adil Auassar was an unused substitute in his first game since returning from suspension, but the midfielder could be recalled to the XI for this one.

AZ Alkmaar possible starting lineup:
Ryan; Sugawara, Chatzidiakos, Beukema, Kerkez; Reijnders, Claise; Odgaard, Mijnans, Karlsson; Pavlidis

Sparta Rotterdam possible starting lineup:
Olij; Sambo, Vriends, Eerdhuijzen, Pinto; Van Mullem, Kitolano; Van Crooy, Verschueren, Saito; Lauritsen

SM words green background

We say: AZ Alkmaar 2-1 Sparta Rotterdam

AZ's dominance in this fixture points to a comfortable victory for them come the sound of the final whistle. While we expect anything but a straightforward affair here, we can see the home side carrying the day, albeit in narrow fashion.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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Michael Silberbauer, now in charge of FC Utrecht, pictured in June 2019
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rhs 2.0
Today's games header
Tables header RHS
CPSV EindhovenPSV342941111219091
3FC Twente34216769363369
4AZ AlkmaarAZ34198770393165
7FC UtrechtUtrecht341311104947250
8Sparta RotterdamSparta34147135148349
9Go Ahead Eagles341210124746146
10Fortuna SittardSittard34911143756-1938
12PEC Zwolle3499164567-2236
13Almere CityAlmere City34713143359-2634
15RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk3478193856-1829
16SBV ExcelsiorExcelsior34611175073-2329
RFC VolendamVolendam3447233488-5419

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