AZ Alkmaar vs PSV Dutch Cup Final Preview

Jozy Altidore of AZ Alkmaar (Google Creative Commons)

Jozy Altidore of AZ Alkmaar (Google Creative Commons)

The storyline going into the final of the Dutch Cup on Thursday in Rotterdam mirrors the one going into Saturday’s FA Cup Final.

PSV Eindhoven are sitting pretty in second place in the Eredivisie table and all they have to do to confirm their spot in Europe next season is win the cup on Thursday or earn a point in their final league match on Sunday.

AZ Alkmaar have been mired in the relegation struggle for most of the season but unlike Wigan Athletic, they have pulled themselves out of danger and into 10th place in the league table.

Both clubs have dominated their opponents on the way to the final at the storied  home of Feyenoord, De Kuip with PSV’s  wins in the second round and quarterfinals being the only one-goal victory by either club this season.

PSV entered the competition in the second round and barely defeated third flight side Achilles ’29. After taking down two other sides from the lower flights of the Dutch game, PSV finally played Eredivisie opposition in the last two rounds and handled both Heracles and PEC Zwolle with relative ease.

AZ exploded into the final with a 3-0 win over Eredivisie champions Ajax at the Amsterdam Arena in the semifinals back in February and now that their top flight status is alive and well for another season, they will have nothing to lose on Thursday.

With that attitude and one of the hottest goal-scorers in the game at the moment in Jozy Altidore, AZ should give PSV their biggest challenge in the competition yet.

AZ will also be looking for revenge in Rotterdam on Thursday as they have lost twice to PSV this season in the league. Just a few weeks ago, PSV won 3-1 in Alkmaar, which was nothing compared to the 5-1 whooping handed to AZ back in September in Eindhoven.

PSV have to be considered the favorite in this matchup but the underdog has plenty to play for at the moment and as we all know from the past, cup finals can provide us with the most unpredictable of results.

follow me on Twitter, @JTansey90. 

Posted in: Analysis, Pre-Match, USA

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