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Alkmaar’s stadium ready for Ajax clash after roof collapse

Brussels (AFP) – AZ Alkmaar will be able to play this weekend’s top-of-the-table clash with Ajax at their home ground after the Eredivisie club revealed on Tuesday that it was safe to hold matches four months after part of its roof collapsed.

In a statement, Alkmaar, who are second in the Dutch top flight, just three points behind reigning champions Ajax, said that the AFAS stadium was “safe again” after consultations with the local authorities in the northern Dutch city and an independent engineering firm.

They host Ajax on Sunday hoping to make it a perfect homecoming by drawing level with last season’s Champions League semi-finalists at the top of the table.

Alkmaar have had to play their home games at ADO Den Haag’s ground in The Hague since strong winds brought down a section of their roof in early August, just days after an opening-day 4-0 win over Fortuna Sittard.

Arne Slot’s side have been a revelation this season and are pushing Ajax hard in the Eredivisie, winning six games on the bounce and losing just twice in 16 matches.

They have also qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League and will top Group L if they beat Manchester United at Old Trafford on Thursday.

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