AZ trainer Arne Slot calls LASK a formidable opponent. The Alkmaarders were paired to the number two in Austria at Monday's draw for the Europa League knockout phase.
"I don't think the boys are a team that they know a lot about," the coach told AZ TV on Monday in an initial reaction to the draw. "I can't name many names myself, but I wouldn't be able to do that from a few teams in the Europa League."
Slot did see the Austrian team play against PSV, which tied at home with 0-0 and went down with no less than 4-1. "It says something that LASK ended first in a group with Sporting CP and PSV. We know that we will play against a very strong opponent."
Especially the performance in Austria against PSV impressed the coach. "The way it was was very clear. Moreover, they are only two points behind Red Bull Salzburg in the competition and if I am impressed by one club from outside the top clubs, then it is Salzburg."
"Will strike a formidable opponent"
Slot knows that AZ did not have a relatively easy draw. "In this phase you always play against a good team. Of course clubs like Arsenal, Internazionale and Benfica are larger in history, but the question is whether they have a better team."
Tactically Slot is impressed by LASK. "They play in the back with five defenders and try to chase away the opponent in midfield. We will meet a formidable opponent."
AZ will request information from PSV, Slot expects. "They undoubtedly filmed the competition from above. Those images may be of extra value. But we have plenty of time to analyze LASK ourselves. We will know enough about them if we hit them."
AZ starts the knockout phase of the second European cup tournament on February 20 with a home game. A week later the return is in Linz.