Europa League final preview

Published by on May 23, 2017

Manchester United’s season all comes down to the Europa League final as they pin their Champions League hopes on victory over Ajax.

Of the starting XI that beat Crystal Palace, only Paul Pogba and Phil Jones are likely to face the Eredivisie runners-up.

Judging by Jose Mourinho’s approach to big games this season, the final is unlikely to be a thriller, but it might yet surprise us.

United are favourites at 4/5, but they’re also better value at 3/1 to win with both teams to score. Ajax have only failed to score once in their last 19 games, a run stretching back to February 19.

Kasper Dolberg will be the man United are watching out for, the 19-year-old at 9/4 to score in 90 minutes. With six goals in nine starts in the competition so far, the starlet is going to be a huge threat and could teach Mourinho a thing or two about how faith in youngsters can pay off.

That criticism is one that is often levelled at the Portuguese, though it’s one that’s perhaps a little unfair given his persistence with Marcus Rashford this season. His own 19-year-old wonder kid is at 9/2 to score first, but United’s problem is that they won’t have too many other regular goalscorers on the pitch.

This will be United’s 63rd game of the season, and ultimately, it all rests on this one. Mourinho may be prioritising the competition now, but that has come as an afterthought at the end of a difficult Premier League campaign. United absolutely have to win if their season is to go down as a success.