Manchester United will be looking to book their place in the Europa League last 16 this evening when they take on Ajax at Old Trafford.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s men lead 2-0 from the first-leg, so they are firm favourites to progress at a short price of 2/5. Ashley Young and Javier Hernandez scored the goals to secure victory at the Amsterdam Arena last week and they will want more of the same tonight.
From past experience, United know more than anyone though that this tie is far from over. Ajax will come to Old Trafford with an attacking mentality and look to get on the front foot. They know they have to go for it if they are to stay in the competition.
The Premier League Champions will have fresh memories of the Champions League with FC Basel earlier this season too. United led 2-0 early on, but conceded three goals in 16 second-half minutes.
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They eventually drew the first-leg 3-3, but it was their sloppiness on home soil that contributed to them being knocked out of the competition and they will not want a repeat of this.
As for Ajax, well they have nothing to lose. Having been turned over in the first-leg, nobody is expecting them to progress to the last 16 so the pressure is well and truly off their shoulders.
They can use this to their advantage though. After all, if they get the first goal in this one, it really is game on.
Looking at their form away from home in Europe this season, Ajax were hammered 3-0 at Real Madrid, but picked up an excellent 2-0 win at Dinamo Zagreb and drew with French club Lyon. So it’s been a rather mixed bag for them.
With regards to the team news for tonight’s clash, Wayne Rooney is set to miss out for Manchester United with a throat infection, while Tom Cleverley should be fit enough to play 90 minutes if required.