Thursday 2 Aug

AZ Alkmaar vs Kairat - Match Preview

01 Aug 2018 Ed Mackey INTERNATIONAL CLUBS: UEFA Europa League, Qualification
INTERNATIONAL CLUBS: UEFA Europa League, Qualification

AZ Alkmaar

  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L


18:45 GMT
02 August 2018

FC Kairat Almaty

  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

18:45 GMT 02 August 2018

Another week of European qualifiers ends on Thursday evening with the second legs of the second round ties. One of the 44 matches sees AZ Alkmaar host Kairat in the Netherlands after losing 2-0 to them in the first leg away from home.


  • AZ Alkmaar finished last season brilliantly and by coming 3rd in the Eredivisie, they secured a place in the qualification process for the Europa League. They begin the new campaign in a week and a half when they face NAC Breda on 12th August. This will be their second competitive fixture of the season following the first leg which came on the back three consecutive friendly wins.
  • Even though the Kazakhstan Premier League is more than halfway through its 2018 season, Kairat confirmed their place in the Europa League at the end of 2017 when they finished second in the table just one point behind FC Astana. That is the position that they currently occupy after 20 games and they could go one better by securing a Champions League spot with a 1st-place finish at the end of this campaign.
  • Alireza Jahanbakhsh was the top scorer in the Eredivisie last term whilst at AZ Alkmaar, but he has been sold to Brighton this summer so the Dutch side must find another star striker.
  • Two of the three leading scorers in the Kazakhstan Premier League belong to Kairat as Isael and Aderinsola Eseola have scored 10 and 11 goals respectively.


The only previous meeting between these two sides came in the first leg of this tie last week. Kairat took advantage of playing in front of their own fans with a 2-0 win which provides them with a solid lead when they travel across Europe on Thursday evening. With their first goal coming after 16 minutes, Kairat dominated the game from there on and deserved their second goal in the 50th minute. Eseola scored both as well as getting booked, he was one of five players to receive a yellow card.


Thursday’s hosts have it all do against Kairat and need a goal in the first-half to keep any hopes of progression alive. With no injured players, their chances are as good as ever.

Latest matches: AZ Alkmaar

26.07.2018 UEFA FC Kairat Almaty AZ Alkmaar 2:0 L
22.07.2018 Club SV Zulte Waregem AZ Alkmaar 0:1 W
18.07.2018 Club AZ Alkmaar Panathinaikos Athens 2:0 W
14.07.2018 Club AZ Alkmaar Sporting Lokeren 2:0 W
07.07.2018 Club AZ Alkmaar FC Midtjylland 1:1 D


Regardless of the two-goal lead, Kairat still can’t be complacent heading into this second leg as AZ are a very good team. They must hold onto the 0-0 scoreline for as long as possible and even attempt to score on the counter-attack.

Latest matches: FC Kairat Almaty

29.07.2018 Prem FC Kairat Almaty Tobol Kostanay 1:0 W
26.07.2018 UEFA FC Kairat Almaty AZ Alkmaar 2:0 W
22.07.2018 Prem FC Ordabasy FC Kairat Almaty 2:1 L
19.07.2018 UEFA FC Kairat Almaty UE Engordany 7:1 W
15.07.2018 Prem FC Kairat Almaty FC Zhetysu 2:1 W


With the home side chasing a 2-0 deficit, they know they’ll have to attack from the very start. Kairat are slight favourites to qualify for the next round but AZ Alkmaar are certainly favourites to win the second leg. It could quite easily go to extra-time but with no away goals, AZ need to stay tight defensively to ensure that their chase isn’t harder than it needs to be.

About the author - Ed Mackey

Experienced sports writer and huge Leicester City fan.

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