Valencia Alkmaar Odds : Dutch to heap Europa League misery on Unai Emery

Valencia and AZ Alkmaar go head to head in the second-leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie this week with the Dutch club leading 2-1 from the first game.

Goals from Brett Holman and Maarten Martens handed Alkmaar the advantage in this tie, but with Mehmet Topal grabbing an away goal for Valencia, it is extremely evenly poised.

Valencia are the ones that need to hit the ground running though as they look to cancel out Alkmaar’s advantage as soon as possible. To do this, they must improve on their recent form.

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Unai Emery’s men have lost three of their last four games across all competitions with only one win in their last six. It is far from a disastrous run, but considering what is at stake, the timing of the blip could have been a lot better.

As for Alkmaar, they are locked in a battle with Ajax for the league title at the moment, sitting a point adrift of the league leaders after the 2-2 draw at Vitesse last time out.

Their attention must be on the Europa League this week though and holding onto their lead over Valencia. If they do that, a semi-final place awaits and this would be an excellent achievement.

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Looking at their away form in Europe this year, Alkmaar have actually only won once, with four of their seven games on the road ending all square.

Overall, this is set to be a fascinating contest between two exciting teams. Valencia will attack from the off and in front of their home fans, they will hope to turn this quarter-final tie around.

The Spanish club have gone three games without a win on home soil, but when they do turn on the style, they tend to be in the goals. They have scored four goals or more in six home games this season.

Alkmaar will be determined to shut them out though when this one gets underway from 8.05pm on Thursday evening.

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