LNTUP

Ajax vs Manchester United Match Preview

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A fascinating Europa League final awaits us on Wednesday night in Stockholm as Manchester United lock horns with Ajax in the season finale.

Manchester United’s underwhelming domestic league performance have cost them the targeted top 4 finish, United need to win the finale to ensure they make the Champions League next season.

Victory would ensure Jose Mourinho has had a very encouraging season, including the Community Shield and EFL Cup. Whilst there is also a long unbeaten run in the Premier League to fall back on as well.

The 70 million pound game

There is already talk of Manchester United holding back on a contract extension and pay rise for the Special One, if they fail to win in Stockholm.

Meanwhile, the Adidas shirt deal, finances for next season and Manchester United player wages in 2017/2018 are all affected by whether the Red Devils can add the Europa League to their trophy cabinet.

Reasonable estimates suggest this game is worth at least 70 million pounds. Over 20 million pounds is down to Adidas, another 50 million for simply playing Champions League football.

But, more than anything, this game could bring Jose Mourinho and Manchester United back to the Champions League.

Young colts of Ajax

First off, it should be pointed out that Ajax also have plenty to play for despite already securing a spot in the Champions League.

Ajax are already in the 17/18 final Champions League play-off – the round before the group stage – thanks to finishing second in Holland.

Victory in the Europa League final ensures the winners go straight into the group stage.

Ajax were in the Eredivisie title race right up until the last weekend of the season and are a collection of very young and talented players.

Ajax team news v Manchester United

Ajax have not played for 10 days, since they fielded the youngest ever Eredivisie side against Willem II and won 3-1 away.

Peter Bosz has a full squad to choose from besides the suspended Nick Viergever.

Every single Ajax player trained on Monday before the full squad travel to Stockholm on Tuesday.

Daley Sinkgraven or Jairo Riedewald will replace Viergever at left back. Sinkgraven is thought to be the most likely to play by the Dutch press but he has been out with a knee injury since April and only returned to training on Thursday.

Ajax team news

Ajax have not played for 10 days, since they fielded the youngest ever Eredivisie side against Willem II and won 3-1 away.

Defender Nick Viergever is the one suspended.

Every single Ajax player trained on Monday before the full squad travel to Stockholm on Tuesday.

Daley Sinkgraven or Jairo Riedewald will replace Viergever at left back. Sinkgraven is thought to be the most likely to play by the Dutch press but he has been out with a knee injury since April and only returned to training on Thursday.

Manchester United team news

As the injuries have hit, Jose Mourinho has very clearly shown the side he prefers to play in the crunch Europa League games.

There are plenty of key players missing through long term injury that could have expected to play in this one.

They include Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw. Eric Bailly is suspended. And, Sergio Romero is Manchester United’s Europa League goalkeeper.

It is also not entirely clear how fit Paul Pogba is after he scored and was then taken off before half-time against Crystal Palace.

Ajax predicted starting XI

Onana – Veltman, De Ligt, Sanchez, Sinkgraven – Klaassen, Schone, Ziyech – Younes, Dolberg, Traore.

Manchester United predicted starting XI

Romero – Valencia, Jones, Blind, Darmian – Herrera, Fellaini, Pogba – Mkhitaryan, Rashford, Lingard.

Head to Head

Ajax and Manchester United faced each other previously and both teams have won 2 and lost 2. Manchester United was defeated 2-1 by Ajax the last time these two met in 2012.

Match Details

Date/Time: Wednesday, 24th May, Thursday, 25th May (Asia) 6:45 PM (GMT)/ 7:45 PM (CET) / 12:15 AM (IST)
Venue: Friends Arena, Stockholm, Sweden.
Television Telecast: TEN Sports, BT Sport
Livestream: ronaldo7.net