PREVIEW: AZ ALKMAAR - ACHILLES '29
Aron Johannsson and red hot AZ Alkmaar host Achilles '29 in the third round of the KNVB Cup on Wednesday.
Johannsson shined in his one game in the KNVB Cup so far this season. After netting his teams first goal in a game which headed into extra time tied 1-1, the United States striker scored two quick overtime goals against Sparta Rotterdam to secure a hat trick, as well as his team's passage to the next round.
While AZ have rocketed up to third place in the Eredivisie standings, Achilles '29 have not had similar success in the second tier Eerste Divisie. Currently in 18th place out of 20 teams in the Eerste Divisie, Achilles lucked out in drawing amateur side HSC 21 in the second round. The 5-1 win that ensued was their first in the KNVB Cup for two seasons.
Johannsson, the Eredivisie's third leading goalscorer at this point in the season, will be going up against the second worst defense in the Eerste Divisie, as Achilles have allowed 31 goals in 13 games in the second division.
Donny Gorter is unavailable for AZ due to a long-term shoulder injury, while Achilles have a slew of injuries with first teamers Daan Paau, Tim Sanders, Tim Konings, Twan Smits, Kay Thomassen, and Jop van Steen all being out with injuries for the Cup match.