Ajax v Manchester United Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
May 22, 2017
Wednesday 24 May – Friends Arena – Europa League
The Friends Arena in Stockholm is the venue on Wednesday night, as Ajax and Manchester United face off in the Europa League final. Jose Mourinho’s side will try to win this competition for the first time in the club’s history, while the Dutch outfit are looking for their second triumph after winning the UEFA Cup in 1992.
Despite their rich histories, with 10 major European honours between them, this will be just the fifth meeting between Ajax and Manchester United. Both teams have won two games apiece, including one each in the 1970s. The most recent meetings were in the Europa League five years ago, with each side winning the away leg in the round of 32. United progressed with a 3-2 aggregate win.
Manchester United boss Mourinho has long been prioritising the Europa League. He played an inexperienced side in the Reds’ final Premier League fixture, and possibly gave some clues on Wednesday’s team. The likes of Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Michartyan and Marouane Fellaini should all start. Daley Blind will face his former club, while Eric Bailly is suspended.
Ajax go into the game on the back of 10 full days of preparation, after finishing their Eredivisie campaign with a 3-1 win at Willem II. Defender Nick Viergever misses out through suspension, while captain Davy Klaassen will look to dictate things from midfield. Around him will be exciting youngsters such as Danish striker Kasper Dolberg and Bertrand Traore, who’s on loan from Chelsea.
Ajax v Manchester United Preview and Predictions
The Europa League final provides both of these teams with the chance for redemption after disappointing domestic campaigns. There were nerve-wracking moments for both teams in reaching the Stockholm showpiece, which pits the swashbuckling style of Ajax against what could be a more pragmatic setup from Jose Mourinho.
The United manager is a master at securing results on the big occasions, and he’s in desperate need of a victory in this game. After recording a lowest-ever Premier League finish of sixth, United have another chance to qualify for the Champions League. After winning the League Cup, Europa League success is the difference between a decent season and disaster for the Reds. At 6/7, the Premier League team will start the game as favourites.
Ajax meanwhile went into the final game of the Eredivisie season with a chance of winning the title. Feyenoord denied them an unlikely triumph though by beating Heracles at home. The Amsterdam outfit have a qualifier to get into next season’s Champions League, but can gain automatic entry by winning the Europa League. You can back them at 4/1 to do just that, while the draw’s available at 13/5.
Rashford to score in United win at 5/2
Marcus Rashford will lead the line for Manchester United in the absence of the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Improve your odds on a United win by backing the Englishman to score too. You can get 25/1 if you think he’ll bag the only goal of the game.
Manchester United/Ajax half time/full time at 66/1
Get on this bet if you think United’s tough end to the season will see them run out of steam in the final, as Ajax’s youngsters come from behind to claim the trophy in the second half.