Dutch side AZ Alkmaar have somewhat of a mountain to climb in the Europa Conference League quarterfinal second leg as they face Anderlecht two down on aggregate from the first leg.
AZ were beaten 2-0 by Anderlecht in Belgium in the first leg in what turned out to be a deserved defeat.
There were concerns regarding the Dutch side's form coming into the game, with Pascal Jansen's side having drawn one and lost two of their three games prior, and those apprehensions were vindicated as they failed to really trouble their opponents barring a brief spell of lively football at the start of either half.
As such, they now face a tough task to over a two goal deficit against a well put together Anderlecht side that seem to flourish in Europe.
AZ have at least returned to the win column since the defeat in Belgium having beaten Fortuna Sittard 3-0 away from home at the weekend, a much-needed result that brought a four-match winless streak to a halt.
That victory should empower them with a head of steam coming into a game that will likely see them backed by a raucous home crowd.
They came into this tie as favourites but that tag has now flipped in favour of their opponents, and whether or not a bit of pressure relief might help their case is an unanswered question. The Dutch side having nothing to lose here and must go hell for leather to try and notch an early goal. They may well win this game but that might not be enough to see them through to the semi-finals.
Contrary to their opponents Anderlecht entered the first leg in a healthy shape as they were in the midst of a six-match unbeaten run having won four of those.
However, some of their momentum will have been drained at the weekend as they were hammered 5-2 away at Genk in the league.
The consolation for Anderlecht is that they've been poor domestically all season, as they currently sit 10th in the league, but that seems to have little effect on their performance in Europe where they seemingly thrive.
Still, it was a less than ideal result and performance to warm up for what is their biggest game of the season.
Bar that 5-2 defeat their away form has been solid of late with Anderlecht winning their three away games prior to that loss.
It will, though, be extremely tough to come away from the Netherlands with another win but given their two goal lead it's hard not to fancy them to progress here.
For our AZ Alkmaar vs. Anderlecht prediction, we're going for a 2-1 win for the home side.