Manchester United v AZ Alkmaar Team News

Manchester United

Top spot is up for grabs when Manchester United play host to AZ Alkmaar in Europa League Group L on Thursday.

Both teams are already assured of their place in the knockout stages heading into the match at Old Trafford, with United knowing they only have to avoid defeat to secure first place in the group.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side head into the contest full of confidence following back-to-back Premier League wins against Tottenham and Manchester City, but they have doubts surrounding the fitness of Jesse Lingard, who picked up a knock in the 2-1 derby win at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

The match will also come too soon for Paul Pogba, who has been sidelined since September with an ankle problem, although Solksjaer is confident the France international will return before the end of the year.

Nemanja Matic and Phil Jones are both available for selection, with Solskjaer likely to make several changes given United’s passage through to the next round is already assured.

Unlike United, Alkmaar are unbeaten in Europe this season and have also emerged as the nearest rivals to Ajax for the Eredivisie title.

Arne Slot’s side have only lost one of their last 17 games across all competitions, a run that includes October’s 0-0 draw with United at the AFAS Stadion.

Forward Myron Boadu, who has netted six times in the Europa League this season, will miss Thursday’s match through suspension after he was sent off in AZ’s last group game against Partizan Belgrade, while a knee injury means Greek defender Pantelis Hatzidiakos is also unavailable.

United boast the joint meanest defence in the Europa League so far this season, while no side has scored more goals than AZ, albeit 11 of the strikes came in the home and away games against Astana.