Manchester United face a season-defining showdown when they take on Ajax at the Friends Stadium in Wednesday’s Europa League final.
After a disappointing Premier League campaign saw them finish down in sixth, the Red Devils are available at 4/5 (1.80) with bet365 to end on a high with a cup victory that would earn them a place in next season’s Champions League.
Meanwhile, Peter Bosz’s side missed out on the Eredivisie title on the final day of the Dutch season, but are on offer at 15/4 (4.75) to make up for that disappointment by winning a first European trophy since their Champions League victory in 1995.
Just one of the last six Europa League finals has gone into extra-time, but you can get odds of 12/5 (3.40) on this one remaining all square after 90 minutes.
Having frequently insisted over the past few weeks that this final takes full priority over Premier League commitments, Jose Mourinho will know only too well how important it is that his side leave Solna with winners’ medals.
While fans would certainly be willing to forgive the team’s underperformance in the league if it was accompanied by a second trophy of the season and thereby entry to the Champions League, defeat here would trigger a difficult summer of intense scrutiny for the former Chelsea boss.
With little room for error, the double Champions League and one-time UEFA Cup winner will back himself to mastermind a victory over an exciting yet inexperienced Dutch side, whose squad boasts an average age of less than 23 years of age.
Having reached the final despite losing two of the last three matches in high-scoring, end-to-end ties, the Godenzonen could well play perfectly into the hands of Mourinho’s tactically-disciplined outfit, which has scored 11 goals and conceded just four in eight unbeaten knockout stage games.
All things considered, those 4/5 (1.80) odds seem generous on United’s superior experience and star quality proving decisive in a crucial victory over an Ajax team that has failed to win any of their last six European matches outside of Amsterdam.