Manchester United could not qualify to the UEFA Champions League after finishing sixth in the standings. However, they still have a shot to reach Europe’s biggest tournament via winning the UEFA Europa League. Jose Mourinho’s men made it to the final round of the competition, and will decide their fate against Ajax in Stockholm. The game will be played on Wednesday, at 19:45 hrs.
Manchester United will have a few important absences ahead of their final game of the campaign. Ashley Young, Luke Shaw, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcos Rojo and Ro-Shaun Williams are out. Eric Bailly is out as well due to a suspension.
As if that was not enough, three other players are doubtful. Juan Mata, Chris Smalling, and Marouane Fellaini have a day-to-day status, and all three would require a late-fitness test to determine their availability for this contest.
The Soccer News team has prepared a predicted line-up and formation Manchester United are expected to field this Wednesday for the UEFA Europa League final.
The first change we will see for Wednesday’s match is the presence of David De Gea btween the posts. Even though Sergio Romero saw most of the minutes in the previous stages, all signs indicate that De Gea will play in the team’s biggest game in recent years. This could be a sign of Mourinho to determine De Gea as their clear starting goalkeeper, but it could be an attempt to make De Gea stay for next season. Either way, it would be shocking if the Spaniard is not in the starting lineup against Ajax.
The defensive line should not see many changes, although Bailly will be an important absence. All signs indicate Phil Jones would replace him at centre-back next to Daley Blind. Meanwhile, Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian will handle the right and left flanks, respectively.
The potential absence of Fellaini would definitively weaken Manchester United’s midfield zone, because the Belgian emerged as the perfect complement for Ander Herrera. The Spaniard is a lock to start at centre midfield, and if Fellaini can’t go, then Michael Carrick would be his most likely replacement.
In front of the two central midfielders, Mourinho will deploy Paul Pogba as the more attacking midfielder. However, the former Juventus star can operate coming from behind as a third central midfielder. Thus, his versatility becomes important in terms of tactical analysis for The Red Devils.
Considering the success the team has had in the Europa League, the attacking trio will not change. Jesse Lingard and Henrikh Mkhitaryan will operate wide, and even though both players tend to rotate, the Englishman will start on the right with the former Dortmund star on the opposite side.
The absence of Zlatan will give Marcus Rashford another chance to excel upfront. Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial will also be available, but Rashford has responded to Mourinho’s confidence. The youngster played a key role in the semifinals, because his free kick against Celta turned out to be decisive.
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