Wednesday, February 15, 2012

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16.02. (Thu) 19:00 Ajax - Manchester Utd.

 Champions League,Darren Fletcher,Manchester United FC v SL Benfica Rio Ferdinand,Dimitar Berbatov and Patrice Evra,
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Anita, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Koppers De Jong, Eriksen, Janssen
Sulejmani, Lodeiro, Aissati

De GeaRafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra
Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Park
Rooney, Welbeck

For the visit of Manchester United, Ajax will have to do without several members of the first-team squad as injuries continue to take their toll.

In defence, Andre Ooijer (calf) won't be involved, neither will Gregory Van der Weil (groin), with youngster Dico Koppers likely to start at left-back.

In midfield the hosts have mixed news as Theo Janssen (groin) is ready to return and could even start, but Eyong Enoh (hamstring) and Derk Boerrigter (back) look very doubtful, while in attack Kolbeinn Sigthorsson (back) is struggling to be fit.

United on the other hand seem to be coming to the end of their injury-ravaged spell as Tom Cleverley (ankle) could start after taking a place on the bench against Liverpool, while Nani (ankle) and Phil Jones (foot) may also be able to feature.

Chris Smalling (slight knock) remains touch-and-go for the trip to Amsterdam, while Anders Lindegaard (ankle), Anderson (unspecified knock) and Michael Owen (thigh) remain a couple of weeks away from action.


  • This match will be Manchester United's first non-Champions League European match since 1995.
  • United came up short in their last Europa League (then Uefa Cup) tie as they were beaten on away goals by Russian side Rotor Volgograd in the 1995 first round.
  • Should be play, Ryan Giggs (pictured righ) will make his 900th appearance for Sir Alex Ferguson's team.
  • Both Giggs and Scholes featured when United were knocked out of the Uefa Cup in 1995.
  • The two sides have met just twice before, a two-legged affair during the 1975-76 season, with United winning 2-1.
  • Ajax have lost three of their last five home matches, but had previously only been defeat at their own ground once in 24 outings.
  • The last English team to play at the Amsterdam Arena in a competitive match was Arsenal, with the Gunners picking up a 2-1 win in 2005.
Given the Dutch side's form this season, their injuries and United's sheer gulf in class, this match can surely only go one way. Obviously a lot depends on the individual battles all across the pitch, but if United get in their stride early and take control of the match, it will be a long night for Frank De Boer's team.
Editor's Prediction
Ajax 0-3 Man Utd.