AZ Alkmaar vs West Ham LIVE commentary: Hammers on cusp of first European final in 47 years
West Ham will look to finish their Europa Conference League tie against AZ Alkmaar and seal a place in the final later this week.
The Hammers haven’t played in a European showpiece event since 1976, but have a 2-1 advantage heading into the second leg of their semi-final clash against the Dutch side.
David Moyes’ men came from 1-0 down thanks to goals by Said Benrahma and Michail Antonio and only need a draw in in the Netherlands.
But Alkmaar are unbeaten in their last 25 European home games, including all eight in the Conference League this season.
And the two-time Eredivisie champions will believe they can beat the Irons to set up a match against Basel or Fiorentina.
AZ Alkmaar vs West Ham: talkSPORT coverage
This Europa Conference League semi-final second-leg clash will take place on Thursday, May 18.
Kick-off at the AFAS Stadion is scheduled for 9pm local time, which is 8pm BST.
talkSPORT 2 will have live coverage from the Netherlands, with Dan Windle serving as your presenter.
Commentary will then come from Jim Proudfoot and former Irons defender Alvin Martin.
talkSPORT.com will also have a live blog taking you through the action.
To tune in to talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2 through the website, click HERE for the live stream.
You can also listen via the talkSPORT app, on DAB digital radio, through your smart speaker and on 1089 or 1053 AM.
AZ Alkmaar vs West Ham: Team news
The big news for the hosts is that Milos Kerkez is back from suspension to take his place at left-back.
The 19-year-old has been directly involved in six goals in the Conference League this season and will look to cause West Ham problems.
However, Bruno Martins Indi, Dani de Wit, Jesper Karlsson and Sam Westerveld all remain out.
Meanwhile, the Hammers have concerns over Michail Antonio, who is nursing a calf problem.
Gianluca Scamacca remains on the sidelines with a knee injury, while Vladimir Coufal is doubtful with a hamstring issue.
AZ Alkmaar vs West Ham: Match facts
- West Ham United are looking to reach their third final in a major European competition, doing so twice in the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1964/65 (winners) and 1975/76 (runners-up).
- Including qualifiers, AZ Alkmaar are unbeaten in their last 25 home games in European competition (W17 D8), having won all eight games on home soil in the UEFA Conference League this season by an aggregate score of 25-5 (also incl. qualifiers).
- West Ham United have progressed from all nine of their previous major European knockout ties when winning the first leg.
- AZ Alkmaar have progressed from three of their previous seven major European Knockout ties when losing the first leg away from home, including the previous round of this season’s UEFA Conference League against RSC Anderlecht (0-2 away; 2-0 home – 4-1 in penalty shootout).
- West Ham have gone on to win each of their four matches in the UEFA Conference League this season when conceding the opening goal, beating FCSB (September), Silkeborg IF (September), KAA Gent (April) and AZ Alkmaar (last week).
- West Ham United have scored five penalty goals in the UEFA Conference League this season; no team has scored more in major European competitions (excl. shootouts) this term (Benfica also 5 in the UEFA Champions League). West Ham have converted all five penalties they’ve taken in the competition this term.
- Tijjani Reijnders, who scored AZ Alkmaar’s lone goal in the first leg, has been involved in 71 open play shot-ending sequences in the UEFA Conference League this season, the most of any player in the competition this term.
- West Ham’s Michael Antonio has scored six goals in seven appearances in the UEFA Europa Conference League this season; the only player to score more goals in the competition this term is Fiorentina’s Arthur Cabral, who has made 12 appearances.
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