Manchester United will play against Ajax Amsterdam in Stockholm on Wednesday night to determine who will be the Europa League champions. But the stakes are higher than it seems.
United manager Jose Mourinho, not only sacrificed his top four chance in the Premier League, but he also rested his players to perform at their optimum in the Europa League final. He has not made a secret of his determination to win the Europa League and in turn, reap the benefits of a Champions League qualification. Winning this match will not only award [United] a Champions League opportunity, but it will also give them “an advantage over the teams who have finished above them but have not got anything to show for it”, says BBC Sport.
We should however not underestimate the capabilities of Ajax, a vibrant team who plays with great technique on the field. In the last 14 games during the Europa League season, they have scored 24 goals. According to BBC Sport, “[Ajax’s] front five - with Bertrand Traore and Amin Younes either side of Kasper Dolberg in attack, and Davy Klaassen and Hakim Ziyech in the centre of midfield - give them goals and creativity, and a good mixture of pace and skill.”
Although Man United will have to bring forth their best game, the team will miss the injured Ibrahimovic – one of United’s star performers. “The absence of Ibrahimovic may initiate a departure from Jose Mourinho's favoured 4-2-3-1 formation, but Marcus Rashford is likely to enter the fray in an unchanged set-up” says Skysports.
Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid’s Griezmann told French Television channel that he had a 6 out of 10 chance of moving to Man United. As the third best player in the world, behind Ronaldo and Messi, he will certainly be a benefit to United’s squad. Lets wait to see this “possible” outcome.