Thursday, February 23, 2012

Europa Cup: United vs Ajax

Into The Last 16

United will be the favourite to advance for the last 16. De Boer in the first round admit that United have so much class that really made both team different. So there would be no trouble for United to see off Ajax at Old Trafford.

De Gea will be between the post. However United need to rotate their players since the rest time was reduced and there will be game on Sunday. So Phil Jones and Smalling should partner as centre back. Thus give Rio Ferdinand a rest. Da Silva twins would be the fullback in order to give Evra extra time to clear his head. In the midfield Ferguson may give Tom Cleverley a run out. Micheal Carrick may be started along him. Paul Pogba may also had a run out. For the wingers, the outstanding Valencia is out for a month. Nani should take the right wing while Young on the left. Park Ji Sung also in the contender for the left wing. Rooney is out due to throat infection so Hernandez should be in. Welbeck is another striker for this game. But I really hope that Berbatov play for this game.

  • The last time United faced Ajax at Old Trafford was in this competition in 1976. The Reds won 2-0 with goals from Lou Macari and Sammy McIlroy.
  • The last United player to score at Old Trafford in the UEFA Cup was Peter Schmeichel in 1995 against Rotor Volgograd. The Great Dane equalised in injury time for the Reds but they were still eliminated on away goals after the game finished 2-2.
  • Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs are the only survivors that match. Paul Scholes scored United’s first goal that day.
  • United’s keeper David De Gea won the competition in 2010 as a 19 year old with Atletico Madrid, beating Fulham in the final . Chris Smalling played for Fulham that season, however he missed out on place in the squad for the final despite featuring in all the other rounds of the competition.
  • Ajax are one of only three teams to win all 3 European Trophies. The other 2 are Juventus and Bayern Munich. Manchester United have the chance to equal this record by winning this year’s Europa league, having already won the Champions League and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in their history.
  • Manchester United have lost only once in 7 years at Old Trafford in European competition since they lost against AC Milan in March 2005. That was a 1-0 defeat in the group stages against Besiktas in 2009, when the Red’s had already qualified.
  • No team had ever gone on to qualify after losing 2-0 at home in the first leg
Kick Off 4.00 am Malaysia time

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