By Dave Marshall
Manchester United and Ajax face off at The Friends Arena in Stockholm on Wednesday night with Jose Mourinho insisting that the result will make or mar their season. The Red Devils placed sixth on the Premier League table, out of the automatic Champions League places, with the knowledge that a win over Ajax will be of benefit in two folds.
One, they win a trophy they have never won ever before, while they also qualify for next season’s Champions League places and attract world class players they want to maintain a sustained title challenge. We take a look at the team Mourinho could play against the Dutch giants.
Sergio Romero has been the undisputed shot-stopper in the European competition and Jose Mourinho confirmed that the Spaniard will play in the Europa League final amid rumours linking him to a return to Spain with Real Madrid.
The absence of Eric Bailly to suspension means that Daley Blind should play in the heart of defence, and Phil Jones should partner him and try to repel the likes of Klaasen, Bertrand Traore and Kasper Dolberg. Matteo Darmian should play at left back after being rested against Crystal Palace. On the right hand of defence, Antonio Valencia should play and try to bomb forward as is his custom.
Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini have been Mourinho’s favoured trio this season and all three should get to start. Fellaini will be the enforcer and hard marker, while the presence of Herrera will offer balance and more attacking threat to Paul Pogba’s play. The Frenchman has had to battle questions about his huge transfer fee and should pay back a huge chunk of his transfer fee this night.
Wayne Rooney should lead the line against Peter Bosz’s men, while on the flanks, Henrikh Mkhitaryan should hold sway. The Armenian has scored five times in this season’s competition, while on the right; Jesse Lingard will hope to have joy against the Ajax left back.