Scouting the UEFA Europe League finalists: Ajax

Few would have predicted that Ajax would have made it to the final ahead of some of the sides from the “Big Five Leagues” or even dark horses such as Fenerbahce. But here they are, the Monaco of the Europa League. Like the Ligue 1 side, this team has a very young starting 11. Though they aren’t as experienced as the Manchester United players, they are fearless and frankly do not care. This “selling club” are not to be underestimated.

How does Ajax play?

Ajax operates a 4-3-3 formation, and they have the players to make the most of it. The midfield is composed and controlled, the wingers are skilled and fast, and their main striker Kasper Dolberg will not waste the opportunities they provide. They play beautiful attacking football and will be persistently peppering the goal for 90 minutes.

Where are Ajax most dangerous?

Their attacking players are the biggest threats because they are fearless and full of stamina and determination. Pick your poison with the likes of Kasper Dolberg, Amin Younes, Bertrand Traore, Justin Kluivert, or David Neres. Whether it’s their starters or their talented bench, Manchester United will not be allowed any complacency.

Where are Ajax’s weaknesses?

It’s hard to find a weak link in this Ajax side. Yes, they’re not a traditional European powerhouse and they come from a weaker league than Manchester United, but they are in great form and that form is shown throughout the pitch. Andre Onana is a solid goalkeeper, but he’s not quite at the level of Sergio Romero let alone David De Gea. The Cameroonian keeper has loads of potential, but on the night in Stockholm, he won’t be as reliant as United’s keepers to make the big save. The biggest weakness might be potential nerves, but they haven’t shown many throughout their European League campaign.

Who is Ajax’s star player?

Throughout the season, many football fans have debated between Marcus Rashford and Kylian Mbappe. Kasper Dolberg has put himself in that conversation as well as on the radar of every big club with his performances this season. A popular choice in FIFA career modes due to his youth and potential, he is showing a lot of that potential week in and week out. He is the most likely player of either side to put his name on the scoresheet in this match.

Who is Ajax’s playmaker?

Dutch midfielder Davy Klaassen can score as well as assist without even trying. He’s been vital to Ajax’s success all season long and will be Ajax’s best bet at winning the midfield battle against the likes of Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini.

What is dependent on Ajax winning?

If Ajax are to win this game, they have to punish Jose Mourinho’s defensive tactics should he continue to implement them. Peter Bosz must adapt quickly and effectively should Mourinho switch things up. Bosz must also ensure that no nerves start to creep up. Fearless players or not, this is the biggest game of most if not all of these players careers. It’s on them now to seize the moment. United fans will be hoping the European final spotlight is too bright for them.

Written by Ivan Ornelas


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