The Manchester United manager has made some interesting comments this week, claiming that it was just a blip that prevented the Red Devils from qualifying for the Champions League group stages and reckoning that his team might have made the final if they had finished ahead of FC Basel.
Even so, it is the Europa League in which the English champions find themselves and you can get odds of 17/20 (Paddy Power free bets) that the visitors win in the Amsterdam Arena on Thursday night, with United having to get accustomed to playing Sunday Premier League matches if they persist with this competition.
Ajax are another team that finished third in their respective group, having been cruelly denied by a freak Lyon victory in Zagreb in the final game week, although the Dutch champions did themselves no favours when losing at home to a Real Madrid side that had already gone through.
However, this is not a team accustomed to losing many matches at home even if they sit sixth in the Eredivisie after a modest campaign which sees Frank De Boer under pressure to start delivering results.
Odds of 4/1 (Bet Victor – £50 free betting) about a home win look a little big based on the fact that United have the chance to turn things around in the second leg at Old Trafford, with Ajax having warmed up for this contest by winning 2-0 away to NAC Breda.
Manchester United are likely to field a strong side considering they don’t have a game at the weekend and odds of 9/2 (William Hill bookmaker) are available that Wayne Rooney scores the opening goal of the game.
Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck will also be pressing for inclusion, while Nani should be back in the side and ready to fire for United. You can get tasty odds of 2/1 about the visitors leading at half-time and full-time.