Thursday March 8 2012
AZ will attack favourites Udinese

AZ Alkmaar Coach Gertjan Verbeek has promised that his team will attack Udinese in their Europa League first leg clash tonight.

The Dutch side, currently top of the Eredivisie, welcome the Zebrette to the AZ Stadion on Thursday night for their Round of 16 opener, which Verbeek indicates will not be a closed affair.

“We'll have to wait and see if they play defensively,” the 49-year-old Coach told this week. “It's clear that there's a different football philosophy in Italy, a different way of thinking. Nothing is good or bad.

“Keeping a clean sheet isn't sacred for us because we play to score ourselves rather than prevent others scoring against us.”

Even so, Verbeek suggests that the Italians are favourites for the two-legged tie.

“After two-thirds of the season, Udinese are near the top of Serie A. They're eight points behind the leaders Milan and I believe they've got 45 players under contract.

“When you look at that, you can't compare AZ and Udinese with each other. Considering their budget, they're favourites.”

Udinese have yet to score a goal on Dutch soil in European competition, whilst AZ are unbeaten in their last nine games played in Europe.

Tonight's match kicks off at just after 8pm UK time.

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