AZ Alkmaar Preview

Verdict: 3rd

It's pretty hard to give a call on AZ the upcoming season; they sold a shitload of players, including keyplayers like Perez, Landzaat, Timmer, van Galen and Sektioui, and they left their old but great stadium 'de Hout'. That's the first part of the story. The second part of the story is a little different: AZ moved to a great new stadium (with artificial pitch!!) with twice as much seats as the previous one, and they signed every talented player in Holland they could get. With Cziommer, Dembele, Luirink, Jenner, Mendes, Gudjohnsson, etcetera it's 100% sure that AZ will end high on the table again. It's up to Van Gaal to make a team out of these individuals and newbies, but at least he has a quality squad available. And only a few people believed in that when all those names left Alkmaar.

Probable line-up: Didulica - Steinsson, Opdam, Mathijsen, de Cler- de Zeeuw, Cziommer, Gudjohnsson, Schaars - Dembele, Arveladze, (tons of other possibilities for AZ to start with)

Last season: 2nd
Coach: L. Van Gaal
Homeground: DSB-Stadion, Alkmaar
Capacity: 16.000
Last season at home: 11-4-2
Last season away: 12-1-4
Derby opponents: Ajax (low)
Players in: 
Martens (RKC Waalwijk)
Ramzi (FC Utrecht)
Dembele (Willem II)
Agustien (Willem II)
Gudjohnsson (Leicester)
Hulst (amateurs)
Cziommer (Schalke 04)
Luirink (FC Groningen)
Jenner (NAC Breda)
Mendes da Silva (NAC)
Didulica (Austria Wien)
Sinouh (Omonia Nicosia)
Players out: 
Buskermolen (retired)
van Galen (retired)
Perez (Ajax)
Zoontjes (Telstar)
Wisse (Haarlem)
Elkhattabi (unknown)
Huysegems (Feyenoord)
Medunjanin (Sparta R)
Agustien (Roda JC)
Zwarthoed (Excelsior)
Timmer (Feyenoord)
Sektioui (FC Porto)
Landzaat (Wigan Athletic)
Pre-season results:
W 23/06 0-7 Polderteam
W 28/06 2-8 AFC'34
W 15/07 1-7 Dirkshorn
W 18/07 1-7 ASWH
D 22/07 2-2 Lierse SK
L 28/07 2-1 FC Köln
L 04/08 0-3 Arsenal
- 12/08 x-x Bolton W.