Ajax and Manchester United go head to head in Stockholm on Wednesday with the Europa League trophy at stake. The game kicks off at 7.45pm.

It has been a long time coming, but after 21 years, Ajax are finally back in a major European final once again. They have had an excellent Europa League campaign so far and after seeing off Lyon in the semi-finals they will face off with English giants Manchester United for the trophy on Wednesday.

Manchester United, who need to win the match to qualify for the Champions League go into the tie as favourites, but Ajax boss Peter Bosz believes his side have a great chance if they stick to the “Ajax way” of playing.

Bosz told his press conference: “Of course, we got to the final with a certain way of playing, it’s our forte. We will try not to change anything. We have to play an opponent, depending on the opponent they can make you play differently.

“With your team you discuss all scenarios, it depends how strong we are, we’ll be strong enough to play this way.

“The only way we have a chance to beat Manchester is if we play our own game. We have developed a way of playing that I call the Ajax way. If we play that way we have a chance.”

Ajax have one over on United going into the game, with the Dutch side having one this competition once when it was the UEFA Cup back in 1992, while the trophy has never gone to the red side of Manchester.

The run up to the game has been overshadowed by the tragic events in Manchester on Monday night and a minutes silence will be held before kick-off.

Team news

Ajax have a nearly fully fit squad to choose from, with Daley Sinkgraven (not fit) and Nick Viergever (suspended) the only absentee’s from Bosz’s squad. Jairo Riedewald will likely start in the left-back slot, while Matthijs de Ligt should start and become the youngest ever player in a major European final.

Probable Ajax line-up: Onana, Veltman, Riedewald, Sanchez, De Ligt, Schone, Ziyech, Klaassen, Traore, Younes, Dolberg

Manchester United will be without the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Luke Shaw, Marcus Rojo and Ashley Young, while Eric Bailly is suspended. Former Ajax star Daley Blind should start in the centre of defence, while another former Amsterdammer, Timothy Fosu-Mensah could also feature.

Probable Manchester United line-up: Romero, Valencia, Darmian, Blind, Smalling, Fellaini, Pogba, Herrera, Mkhitaryan, Lingard, Rashford


Ajax’s league season ended on the 14th of May with a 3-1 win over Willem II which saw them finish 2nd in the Eredivisie.

Last 10 games: WLWWLLWWWW

A much changed Manchester United side beat Crystal Palace 2-0 on Sunday in the final round of the Premier League. Jose Mourinho’s side finished a disappointing sixth.

Last 10 games: WLDLWDDWWW

Previous meetings

Ajax and Manchester United have met four times in European competitions with both sides holding two wins each. However, United have progressed over two legs in both occasions the sides have met.

September 15, 1976: Ajax 1-0 Manchester United (UEFA cup 1st round)

September 29th, 1976: Manchester United 2-0 Ajax (UEFA cup 1st round)

February 16th, 2012: Ajax 0-2 Manchester United (Europa League last 32)

February 23rd 2012: Manchester United 1-2 Ajax (Europa League last 32)

Both sides route to the final

Ajax: The Dutch side started in the Champions League but they dropped out after defeat to Russian side Rostov. They came through a group containing Celta Vigo, Panathinaikos, and Standard Liege on top without losing a single game. They then knocked out Legia Warsaw, Copenhagen, Schalke and Lyon on route to the final.

Manchester United: Mourinho’s side started the group stages by losing to Ajax rivals Feyenoord in Rotterdam, but recovered with four wins in five games to top the group. They then saw off Saint Etienne, Rostov, Anderlecht and Celta Vigo to make the final.


Ajax 7/2 Draw 13/5 Manchester United 10/11

Key head to head battles

Kasper Dolberg v Daley Blind

Danish sensation Dolberg fired Ajax into the final with goals in both legs of the semi-final with Lyon and he will once again be the major threat for Ajax on Wednesday. Tasked with stopping the 19-year-old will be ex-Ajax man Daley Blind, who will start in the centre of defence due to injuries in the United back four. Will Dolberg, who has netted 23 goals this season, be able to find his way past Blind?

Paul Pogba v Hakim Ziyech

The midfield battle will be between the two clubs most expensive players on the pitch. Ajax paid Twente around £10 million to bring Ziyech to Amsterdam, while Pogba cost a whopping €105 million. Ziyech has been hugely influential in the Ajax side this season with his vision and passing ability a major weapon for the Amsterdammers. He will look for space in the United midfield to set up attacks and add to the 20 assists he has this season. Pogba on the other hand has been widely criticised for his form, with the Frenchman only netting eight times in all competitions, adding six assists. However, Pogba has already broken Dutch hearts this season when he netted the winner for France against Netherlands and he would justify his hefty price tag with a goal on Wednesday.

Davinson Sanchez v Marcus Rashford

Sanchez has been a revelation in the Ajax side this season and has gained a reputation for being one of the finest young centre-backs in Europe after a number of commanding displays. The Colombian is a strong, and quick defender with excellent tackling ability and a great technical ability on the ball. However, he will be given a major test on Wednesday from United’s own striking sensation Marcus Rashford, who will start in Zlatan’s absence. Rashford is quick, skillful and can score from anywhere around the box, with the 19-year-old scoring a crucial goal in the semi-final with Celta Vigo. He will be a major threat in the United attack and Sanchez will need to keep him quiet.

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