Gil Vicente will host AZ Alkmaar at the Estadio Cidade de Barcelos on Thursday in the second leg of their UEFA Europa Conference League playoff.
The Portuguese side have struggled for form after a positive to the season, which saw them beat Riga FC 5-1 on aggregate in the previous qualifying round. They were beaten 4-0 in the first leg of this fixture last week and now have a mountain to climb. Vicente made their European debut this summer but have already exceeded expectations.
Alkmaar, meanwhile, have performed brilliantly this season, picking up comfortable wins in their qualification campaign. They cruised to victory in the first leg with four players getting on the scoresheet in a very clinical showing.
The visitors have featured in the group stage of a European competition in the last three seasons and will look to continue that run this campaign.
Gil Vicente vs AZ Alkmaar
Thursday’s game will mark the second meeting between the two teams after their maiden matchup last week.
Vicente need a miracle this week to advance to the group stage after a disastrous first leg result to prolong their dream European run.
Gil Vicente Form Guide (all competitions): D-L-L-W-W
AZ Alkmaar Form Guide (all competitions): W-W-W-W-L
Gil Vicente vs AZ Alkmaar Team News
The hosts will be without Lucas Barros, Stanislav Kritsyuk and Murilo de Souza this week, as the trio are injured.
Injured: Lucas Barros, Stanislav Kritsyuk, Murilo de Souza
Jesper Karlsson and Zinho Vanhuesden are injured and are not expected to play this week. Jens Odgaard and Riechedly Bazoer are both major doubts as they continue their recovery from injury.
Injured: Jesper Karlsson, Zinho Vanhuesden
Doubtful: Jens Odgaard, Riechedly Bazoer
Gil Vicente vs AZ Alkmaar Predicted XIs
Gil Vicente (4-3-3): Andrew Ventura (GK); Henrique Gomes, Ruben Fernanes, Tomas Araujo, Danilo Veiga; Pedro Tiba, Vitor Carvalho, Kanya Fujimoto; Kevin Villodres, Fran Navarro, Juan Boselli
AZ Alkmaar (4-2-3-1): Hobie Verhulst (GK); Milos Kerkez, Bruno Martins Indi, Sam Beukema, Pantelis Chatzidiakos; Tiijani Reijnders, Jordy Clasie; Myron van Brederode, Dani de Wit, Hakon Evjen; Vangelis Pavlidis
Gil Vicente vs AZ Alkmaar Prediction
Vicente are on a three-game winless streak, losing two and drawing the other. They have failed to score in this period and could struggle here.
Alkmaar, meanwhile, are on a four-game winning run and have lost just one of their last nine games across competitions. They already have a foot in the group stage and should complete the job this week.
Prediction: Gil Vicente 0-3 AZ Alkmaar