Ajax Amsterdam v Manchester United – Preview, Prediction, TV Listings, Betting Odds – Europa League – 16 February 2012
Manchester United play their first match ever in the UEFA Europa League with a first leg match against Dutch side Ajax Amsterdam. The match will take place at the Amsterdam Arena in Amsterdam, Netherlands on Thursday, February 16, 2012. Kickoff is scheduled for 13:00 EST (USA Eastern), 18:00 GMT (UK time), and 19:00 CET (Central Europe).
Ajax Amsterdam v Manchester United TV Listings
The match will be televised on DirecTV (USA), Channel FIVE (UK), C+ (Finland), Sport TV2 (Portugal), Sport 1 (Israel), SuperSport (Africa), TV2 Sport 1 (Norway), TV3+ (Denmark), TV4 Sport (Sweden), W9 (France), 3e (Ireland), RTL 7 (Netherlands).
Ajax Amsterdam v Manchester United Preview
Man Utd manager Alex Ferguson
“I feel good about it. It’s a tournament we are going to try to win. We have a responsibility to do better after the disappointment of earlier in the season. We have an opportunity to do better and, when you look at the Europa League, it’s a challenge. The disappointment of the Champions League is gone. We have many young players who don’t have great experience of Europe so that should be enough motivation for them. The final is in Romania, I want to be there, so do my supporters and I won’t find motivation difficult.”
“I will certainly try to play my strongest team in each round now. I think we were depending on our previous form in group stages in the Champions League this year. We were making changes each year and it was working fine for us because our home record was so good. But we threw it away against Basel in the home game and were unlucky against Benfica. That caught us short, to be honest with you, and we suffered for it.”
“We have rested Patrice because I think it was an emotional weekend for him and it was the right thing to do.”
Ajax manager Frank de Boer
“It’s a big surprise that Manchester United are no longer in the Champions League.
“We also came close to reaching the next round, but then there was Lyon’s win 7-1 in Zagreb. It’s a good thing for the tournament though, with Manchester City and other big teams in the Europa League as well.”
“It is quite surprising that Manchester United and Ajax haven’t met more often Europe since they are two big teams.
“We have won four European Cups, and I believe United have won three as well. I remember a game in the 1970s, but nothing in the past few decades.”
“A team like Manchester United have players such as Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, who play their entire career at the club because there’s no next step after United. They’re already at one of the biggest clubs out there.”
“The financial difference with the big clubs from England, Italy, Spain and Germany has become so big that we can no longer compete with these teams.
“Ajax have become an academy for those clubs. What we see these days is that players leave Ajax in their early twenties for a bigger salary elsewhere.”
Man Utd Squad
De Gea, Amos; Fabio, Rafael, Evans, Jones, Smalling, Fryers, Ferdinand; Valencia, Nani, Carrick, Young, Park, Scholes, Cleverley, Pogba; Rooney, Hernandez, Welbeck
Upcoming Europa League Fixtures
Ajax Amsterdam v Manchester United Prediction
Manchester United wins 1-0
Ajax Amsterdam v Manchester United Betting Odds
Ajax win – 7/2
Draw – 5/2
Man Utd win – 4/5