Dundee United vs AZ AlkmaarUEFA Europa League Conference, KO: 20:00 Aug 4, 2022, Tannadice
DUNDEE UNITED are back in Europe for the first time in a decade but their return could be short-lived as they face a dangerous AZ Alkmaar side in the UEFA Europa Conference League qualifiers.
But Tannadice chiefs moved quickly to snap up Jack Ross as their new manager and it looks like a pretty shrewd appointment. Ross has made some smart moves in the transfer market, with veteran Steven Fletcher arriving from Stoke and talented youngsters Dylan Levitt and Glenn Middleton moving from Manchester United and Rangers.
Landing Levitt on a permanent deal after last season's loan looks like a transfer coup and the Welshman salvaged my weekend coupon by bringing up an 11/2 scorer bet in the Premiership opener at Kilmarnock.
Dundee United conceded a late leveller in that game after a red card for Ian Harkes but it was still a decent point and they head into the European arena in decent shape.
AZ Alkmaar have yet to kick off their domestic campaign but they saw off Tuzla City without much fuss in the last round of Conference League qualifiers.
Winning just 1-0 at home made the second leg in Bosnia potentially hazardous but Alkmaar eased to a 4-0 victory, much to my delight after I had bet against BTTS.
Pascal Jansen has assembled a talented squad and the AZ boss will be hoping another victory on the road in Europe can set the stage for progression to the play-offs.
How the bookies view it
Dundee United have pretty much been written off, with the Tannadice side as big as 7/1 to qualify with Bet365, who price AZ Alkmaar at a tiny 1/12.
For a Tannadice win, the Dutch side are a best 13/20 at Unibet while United are 21/5 with Coral and the stalemate pays 37/13 at VBet.
Head to head
These sides have never played each other competitively but AZ Alkmaar were in Scotland this time last year, losing 2-0 to Celtic in the Europa League play-offs (below). A 2-1 win back on Dutch soil wasn't enough to turn it around.
Dundee United don't have a great record against clubs from the Netherlands, winning just one of their four ties and losing twice. Vitesse Arnhem battered them 5-0 on aggregate when they last faced a Dutch club in the 1990/91 UEFA Cup.
Players to watch
Former Scotland striker Fletcher will probably be more of a creator than a scorer for Dundee United this season due to his clever link-up play. But he's still a goal threat, especially in the air, and is 16/5 at Paddy Power for anytime scorer.
Playmaker Dani de Wit netted in both legs against Tuzla and is the Alkmaar penalty taker. So he looks a bit overpriced at 3/1 with Paddy Power for a Tannadice goal.
Anything else catch the eye?
AZ Alkmaar only won three corners as they eased to victory in Tuzla so there could be some value in the corner handicaps. Bet 365 price Dundee United +2 at 21/20 and that looks worth a punt as they have home advantage.
The Dutch side haven't conceded so far this season but they could still be a bit undercooked so I fancy United to score. BTTS pays a best 28/29 at VBet while over 2.5 goals is a bit better at evens with Paddy Power.
This UEFA Europa League Conference match between Dundee United and AZ Alkmaar will be played on Aug 4, 2022 and kick off at 20:00. Check below for our tipsters best Dundee United vs AZ Alkmaar prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.