AZ won only one of their last ten opening games of the season. They recorded a 3-0 away win against Heracles in August 2014, settled for a draw three times and lost six matches in round one.
The last time AZ played host to PSV in the season's curtain raiser was in the 2011/12 season, when the Alkmaar outfit claimed a 3-1 win. AZ failed to qualify for a place in the UEFA Europa League last season. John van den Brom's team suffered defeat in the Dutch Cup final against Vitesse and FC Utrecht booked a European play-off spot at the expense of AZ. Their expectations for the upcoming football season are clear: qualify for a European competition.
Young gun Calvin Stengs and summer signings Marco Bizot and Marko Vejinovic will fill the void left by the departures of key players such as Matthias Johansson, Tim Krul, Ridgeciano Haps and Derrick Luckassen, who made a move to PSV. AZ do not lack confidence. Stengs is sure AZ will pull off a shock win in Eindhoven tonight.
Two former PSV players ply their trade for AZ. Midfielder Stijn Wuytens started his career with PSV in the 2008/09 season before he was sent out on loan to De Graafschap. He made 27 appearances in a PSV shirt. Goalkeeper Gino Coutinho played his first Eredivisie games with PSV.