It's finally here! Jose's delighted the Premier League has ended and he can finally get on with securing a Champions League spot for Manchester United ahead of next season, but how funny would it be if the Portuguese and his side are left with egg on their faces against Ajax - especially after completely writing off the last few games and playing the kids...
The Europa League Final will finally land on our televisions this week and Manchester United are in it. Let’s face it, was it ever in doubt? Well, actually, has John Guidetti walked the walk alongside talking the talk it would have been his side Celta Vigo looking forward to this one in Guidetti’s homeland. As it is, it’ll be Zlatan Ibrahimovic who’ll be back in Sweden for the game, but unfortunately for Zlatan, his fans and United supporters, he’ll be watching from the stands in Stockholm.
So whilst the season won’t end with a fairytale for the Swede, it could potentially sign off the season pretty well for Jose Mourinho in his first season in charge of the Red Devils. Jose already picked up the Community Shield (is that even counted) and the League Cup. A victory on Wednesday will make it a treble – even if it is possibly the least convincing treble ever – but will also ensure Champions League football returns to Old Trafford next season, even if they have done it like a burglar taking a crowbar to the backdoor to get in.
But Ajax are no pushovers, as the likes of Lyon will testify to. We saw the Dutch giants brush the likes of Alexandre Lacazette aside – particularly in the home leg against the French outfit – and with their young team there will be no fear going into the Final. Kaspar Dolberg is a striker in fine fettle this season and is another that’s followed on from the likes of Patrick Kluivert, Toby Alderweireld, Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart, Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen off the Ajax Academy conveyor belt of young talent and into the first team.
Speaking of Kluivert, if you want to feel older than you felt a couple of minutes ago then read on. You may remember the Dutchman for banging the goals in for Holland and up top for Barcelona, before not doing it so well during his Newcastle United days. Well, when you tune in, you’ll more than likely see his son Justin either starting or coming off the bench for the club where his old man came through the youth ranks. Is that a grey hair we see on your head?
What We Sayin’?
Do you know what, whilst everyone will be lumping on United, mainly because it’s United, this really won’t be an easy test for them. Let’s remember how close Celta came to exposing them in the semi-final second leg. We’re backing a 1-1 draw in 90 minutes at 11/2, which, considering United’s record of draws this season, isn’t out of the equation. From then on in, who knows what will happen? United begin as favourites and you’d fancy them to be slightly too strong for Ajax, but in any Final, you never know!
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