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Confirmed XI: Manchester United ready for their biggest night of the season…

Manchester United and Ajax will go head to head for the UEFA Europa League at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden this evening in the biggest match of the season for both clubs. United are grieving after the terrorist attack in the city on Monday, which seems to have given the match a solemn atmosphere to it. United will wear black armbands and there will be a minute’s silence ahead of the match in respect for the victims of the attack at the Manchester Arena. United have fallen short of UEFA Champions League qualification in the Premier League this season, finishing sixth, the first time they have done so in the Premier League era. Jose Mourinho’s side will need to rise to the challenge of the young Ajax side, who seem to attack with flair and pace but have a defensive and discipline weakness. United will miss the defensive surety of Eric Bailly (suspended) and Marcos Rojo (injured) and the passion, ability, and presence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic (injured). Luke Shaw and Ashley Young will also miss the match through injury.

Manchester United:

Romero;

Valencia, Smalling, Blind, Darmian;

Herrera, Fellaini;

Mata, Pogba, Mkhitaryan;

Rashford

Substitutes:

De Gea; Jones, Fosu-Mensah; Martial, Lingard, Carrick; Rooney

Ajax:

Onana;

Veltman, Sanchez, de Ligt, Riedewald;

Klaassen, Schone, Ziyech;

Traore, Dolberg, Younes

Substitutes:

Boer; Tete, Westermann; De Jong, van de Beek, Campos; Kluivert

Manchester United and Ajax have met four times in the history of both clubs, both in the same competition or at least for the same trophy. United faced the Dutch side in the UEFA Cup back in 1976, losing 1-0 away on the 15th September 1976, winning 2-0 in the home leg a fortnight later. Sammy McIlroy and Lou Macari were the players to put United through to the next round of the UEFA Cup that season. United then met Ajax 36 years later in the UEFA Europa League, after United were ejected from the Champions League group stages under Sir Alex Ferguson. United beat Ajax at the Amsterdam Arena on the 16th February 2012 2-0 with Ashley Young and Javier Hernandez scoring the goals. At Old Trafford a week later, United were defeated 2-1 with Hernandez scoring the only goal for United, with the Red Devils winning 3-2 on aggregate. This will be the fifth competitive meeting between the two sides.

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