AZ with Odgaard and Van Brederode against West Ham – London Stadium full for semifinal game
Tonight AZ and West Ham United kick off in London for the first game in the Conference League semifinals.
- Intermediate score: West Ham United-AZ 0-0
- Intermediate standings: Fiorentina-FC Basel 0-0 (CL), AS Roma-Bayer Leverkusen 0-0 (EL), Juventus-Sevilla 0-0 (EL)
- West Ham United – AZ can also be followed live via Langs de Lijn En Omstreken on NPO Radio 1
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Pavlidis kicks off. The ball rolls, West Ham United-AZ has started.
As the bubbles fly through the air, tension rises at the London Stadium. The team enter the field for West Han United-AZ.
As the stadium slowly fills up, the teams begin warming up. Another half hour, then it burns loose in the Conference League semifinals.
Good times for the AZ supporters. With just under three thousand marching through London on their way to West Ham United’s stadium.
With dog ‘Bubbles’ on the way to duel with AZ
NOS commentator Jeroen Elshoff gauges the mood of West Ham United fans ahead of the game with AZ and comes across many ‘Bubbles’, even a dog, named after the club song ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’.
West Ham fans with dog ‘Bubbles’ on their way to duel with AZ
West Ham United line-up: Zouma back
At West Ham United, Kurt Zouma returns to the starting lineup. The French defender appears to have recovered in time from an ankle injury he suffered in the 4-3 loss to Crystal Palace in late April. Coach David Moyes expected Zouma would not be available against AZ on Wednesday.
Zouma will take the place of Italian Angelo Ogbonna in defense. The only other change from Sunday’s game with Manchester United is a goalkeeper change: Alphonse Aréola replaces Lukasz Fabianski. The French goalkeeper is the Hammers’ regular goalkeeper in Europe.
Line-up AZ: Odgaard, Mees de Wit and Van Brederode start
Jens Odgaard will start at AZ. The Danish striker fell out with a toe injury in Saturday’s away match against Ajax. A modified shoe will allow Odgaard to play in London.
Suspended left back Milos Kerkez will be replaced by Mees de Wit and Myron van Brederode will play in place of the injured Jesper Karlsson.
Selection inspects the field
AZ just arrived at the stadium and the selection inspects the pitch in London. Another hour and a half to go!
Jeroen Stekelenburg from London: ‘West Ham-AZ is ripple in the pond here’
Jeroen Stekelenburg from London: ‘West Ham-AZ is ripple in the pond here’
Quiet now, soon the radio will be on!
NOS commentator has found his place in the stadium. West Ham United – AZ can be followed live via Langs de Lijn En Omstreken on NPO Radio 1. The broadcast begins at 8:20 p.m.
Odgaard plays with custom shoe against West Ham
AZ will have Jens Odgaard at their disposal tonight. The Danish striker dropped out shortly before half-time in Saturday’s away match against Ajax in the Eredivisie (0-0). That was the result of a toe injury he sustained two weeks earlier in the meeting with RKC Waalwijk (3-0).
Odgaard will play in London with a modified shoe. The inclusion of Odgaard is a windfall for Jansen, who is missing his entire left flank against West Ham. Left back Milos Kerkez is suspended and will be replaced by Mees de Wit. Jesper Karlsson is still injured. Myron van Brederode normally plays in his spot. Swede Mayckel Lahdo, who replaced Odgaard against Ajax, is another option at that position as a base player.
The long-time injured Bruno Martins Indi and Dani de Wit will not be there in London.
AZ again with ‘a Meerdink’ semifinalist in Europe: ‘Showing own game’
The UEFA Cup in 1981 and 2005 and now the Conference League. AZ from Alkmaar is again among the four best clubs in a European tournament this season. Martijn Meerdink is one of the players who made it to the semifinals with AZ in 2005. There, deep into the extension against Sporting CP (without the injured Meerdink) things went dramatically wrong, after a memorable campaign had preceded it.
Nineteen-year-old Mexx is Meerdink’s eldest son. The talented striker recently achieved success with AZ’s top youth team, winning the Youth League, and in recent months experienced his breakthrough in the first team. With the first, Mexx is now in London. Father Martijn: “He is making nice steps.”
Now empty at London Stadium
Starting at 7 p.m., the stadium will begin to fill up. Now London Stadium is still empty. Fine skies are already present over the stadium though.
West Ham: great footballers, few awards and, above all, an unaccustomed stadium
While soccer city London is best known for its top clubs Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, West Ham United also has a remarkably large fan base. The club has many fans in the east of the city and also in surrounding regions such as Essex and Kent.
Chris Gotobed has been attending his club’s games for decades. He points out that West Ham draws 60,000 for home games, although it has not won any major prizes in recent decades. “That says it all. West Ham has always had a lot of fans.”
Moyes not leaning towards AZ: ‘Young players exceptionally good’
For West Ham coach David Moyes, it is a reunion with the club from Alkmaar. In 2007, the Scot also played against AZ with Everton. Then Everton won 2-3.
According to Moyes, reaching the final “would be fantastic”. “Getting to a final is something big for every team. Everyone wants to be successful, which is very difficult. Getting to the semifinals last year was great. Now we hope we can take it a step further and make the final.”
West Ham coach Moyes praises approach to AZ: ‘Model with interesting young players’
For AZ coach Jansen, duel with West Ham is extra special: ‘Feels familiar’
For AZ coach Pascal Jansen, the away match against West Ham United is not only special on a sporting level. He is playing with his team in London, the city where he was born 50 years ago. “It feels familiar,” he said.
Jansen was born in 1972 to Hans Jansen and British singer Sue Chaloner. She wanted her son to be born in England. Although Jansen grew up in the Netherlands, he maintains a special bond with the country where he was born.
AZ coach Jansen back on London birthplace: ‘Feels familiar’
AZ is everywhere, including under Tower Bridge
AZ supporters gathered at Victoria Park in London on Thursday afternoon. In the pub The People’s Park Tavern, fans are living up to the Conference League semifinal against West Ham United. But also elsewhere in the metropolis the presence of the Alkmaarders is visible, with a little imagination even under Tower Bridge.
The atmosphere in cloudy and somewhat drizzly London, home to 2,900 AZ supporters, is convivial. From 7 p.m. the Alkmaar supporters walk with torches and decorative fireworks to the Olympic Stadium, which is filled with over 60,000 fans during the match. That route takes them about 25 minutes.
WHU-AZ | Preview with a look back
When AZ was seconds from final: ‘That one word does stick’
At AZ’s European semifinal against West Ham United, thoughts in Alkmaar also quickly wander back to last time they reached the last four.
“The moment still passes by sometimes in documentaries. Then I always think: but when exactly does it happen? After all, the match seemed to be over already. Then it’s just as painful to see again,” said Kenneth Perez.
The Dane was one of the goal scorers in the return match of the UEFA Cup semifinal against Sporting Portugal in 2005, in which AZ had forced an extension, making it 3-1. Enough for the final, which AZ eventually miraculously missed out on.
WHU-AZ | AZ supporters confident: ‘We are going to get the win here in London’
Nearly 3,000 AZ fans will be in the stadium tonight for the match against West Ham United. A few are fans have traveled before and are very confident of a good result.
AZ supporters confident: ‘We are going to get the win here in London’
WHU-AZ | West Ham: Road to the semi-final
As last season’s number seven in the Premier League, West Ham United had to start the European season in the Conference League playoffs. In them, Denmark’s Viborg was swept aside.
In a group with Anderlecht, Silkeborg and Romanian FCSB, the English finished proudly on top with six wins in as many games.
In the knockout phase, AEK Larnaca were brought to knee in the eighth finals (2-0, 4-0) before conquering Belgium’s KAA Gent in the quarter-finals. After a 1-1 draw in Belgium, it became 4-1 in London.
WHU-AZ | AZ: Road to the semi-final
AZ managed to win the playoffs for European soccer after last year’s fifth-place finish in the premier league. It earned the Alkmaarders a starting ticket to the second qualifying round of the Conference League.
Bosnian Tuzla were simply swept aside after a 1-0 win in Alkmaar and a 4-0 win in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the third round, Dundee United was the opponent. AZ lost 1-0 in Scotland, but in their own AFAS stadium they won 7-0. The Portuguese Gil Vicente was the opponent in the playoffs. AZ won 4-0 in Alkmaar and then won 2-1 in Portugal.
In the group stage AZ met FC Vaduz from Liechtenstein, Apollon Limassol from Cyprus and Ukrainian Dnipro-1. with five wins and one defeat AZ won the group.
Then Lazio awaited in the eighth finals. AZ won both meetings 2-1 after which Anderlecht was the opponent in the quarter-finals. After a 2-0 defeat in Belgium, they won 2-0 in Alkmaar. After the extension, AZ took the penalties better.
Strength West Ham lies in midfield, AZ’s chances are at the back
With West Ham United, AZ will certainly not meet a big unknown tonight in the Conference League semifinals, but for the average soccer follower it will still be no mean feat to name the Hammers’ starting eleven. It is no Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool or Manchester United.
Last Sunday, Scottish coach David Moyes’ team won 1-0 over Erik ten Hags United, taking a big step toward survival in the Premier League. West Ham is now fifteenth in the Premier League. We introduce the team.
Tonight at 9 p.m. AZ and West Ham United kick off in London for the first match in the Conference League semifinals. Fiorentina and FC Basel face each other in the other semifinal.
Furthermore, we have also arrived at the semifinals of the Europa League:
9 p.m.: AS Roma – Bayer Leverkusen
9 p.m.: Juventus – Sevilla