The 33-time Dutch champions have not reached this stage of a European competition since 1996, when they were defeated by Juventus in the Champions League final with a famous young team that included stars such as Edwin van der Sar, Edgar Davids and Patrick Kluivert.
Much as was the case against Juve and Marcello Lippi, they face a more experienced United side with an accomplished manager in Jose Mourinho but will hope to take advantage of the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his home country.
The Red Devils are battling a long injury list and have also lost Eric Bailly to suspension, while Sergio Romero will continue to start over David de Gea. Those absences could level the playing field despite the vast gulf in financial power between these two clubs.
Ajax, unlike United, are likely to qualify for the Champions League through their domestic finishing position but the winner of this match will secure safe passage straight through to next season's group stage of Europe's top competition.
|Game||Ajax vs Manchester United|
|Date||Wednesday, May 24, 2017|
|Time||19:45 BST, 14:45 ET|
|Venue||Friends Arena, Sweden|
WHEN IS THE EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL?
The Europa League final will be played on Wednesday, May 24 at 20:45 local time (19:45 BST) - 10 days before the Champions League final on Saturday, June 3.
HOW CAN I WATCH THE EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL?
In the UK, the match will be available to watch live on television on BT Sport 2 and for free on BT Sport Showcase. It can also be streamed via the BT Sport app.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 2 / Showcase||BT Sport app|
In the US, the match will be available to watch live on television on FS1 and by stream via Fox Soccer 2Go.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|FS1||Fox Soccer 2Go|
WHICH TEAMS ARE IN THE EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL?
Ajax's journey to the final began in the third qualifying round of the Champions League, where they defeated PAOK before losing to Rostov in the play-off round before the group stage. As a result, they dropped into the Europa League, where they finished top of a group that also included Celta, Standard Liege and Panathinaikos.
From there, they have claimed narrow wins in all four knockout rounds to book a place in the final. Legia Warsaw, Copenhagen and Schalke were all seen off by one-goal margins on aggregate before Lyon were beaten 5-4 over two legs after Ajax had established a 4-1 lead in the first match.
Having finished fifth in the Premier League last season, United went straight into the Europa League group stage. They suffered away defeats at Feyenoord and Fenerbahce but did enough to claim second place ahead of the Dutch club and Zorya Luhansk.
Jose Mourinho's side then beaten Saint-Etienne and Ajax's Champions League conquerors Rostov before needing extra time to defeat Anderlecht in the quarter-finals. Their semi-final against Celta was a similarly close affair but the Red Devils prevailed by a goal.
WHERE IS THE EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL?
The 2017 Europa League final will be played at Friends Arena in Stockholm, the capital and largest city of Sweden.
The stadium seats 50,653 fans and was opened in October 2012 at a cost of €300 million. Located in Solna, north of Stockholm's city centre, it has a retractable roof and is now the home of both Allsvenskan club AIK and the Swedish national team, replacing Rasunda Stadium.
The first match played at Friends Arena was the friendly between Sweden and England in which Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his famous bicycle-kick goal. Ibrahimovic also scored the first goal of that match and admitted he liked that one more, because it was the first at the new stadium.
Sweden previously hosted the UEFA Cup final in 2004 and also had it come to them in 1982 and 1987, when it was a two-legged affair and each team played a home match. All of those games were in Gothenburg, but Solna has the distinction of being the first place in Europe to host games in the men's and women's World Cup and European Championship.
HOW DO I GET TICKETS?
There are no longer any tickets on general sale through UEFA and all of those who applied have now been notified of the outcome.
In addition to that sale, each club was allocated 10,000 tickets to sell to their fans. United's application process has already finished and Ajax's will take place between Monday, May 15 and Thursday, May 18, with tickets released to a lower level of the club's membership each day until they are sold out.
The rest of the seats at the stadium will be handed out to organisers, football associations, commercial partners and broadcasters and used for corporate hospitality packages, which are also sold out.
UEFA's tickets ranged in price from €150 to €45, with a 'youth package' of one adult and one child available for €90, while Ajax's are on sale for €77.50 each.
WHICH PLAYERS ARE FROM STOCKHOLM?
Fans in Sweden will be disappointed to have been denied the chance to see Zlatan Ibrahimovic back on home turf in this match due to his knee injury, with the final set up perfectly for the United striker. He was born in Malmo, but this would still be a 'home' final for him and he would be going up against his former club in Ajax.
Instead, Ajax's next star - a 19-year-old from neighbouring Denmark - will have the chance to show he belongs on the big stage. Kasper Dolberg has scored six goals in 12 games in the Europa League this season, and coach Peter Bosz will need him to trouble an injury and suspension-hit United back line if his side is to pull off a shock.
Lasse Schone is another Dane set to feature and Daley Blind will face his former club, but there are no other Swedes in the two squads beyond Ibrahimovic. Celta striker John Guidetti is from Stockholm and narrowly missed out on a final in his hometown, while Borussia Dortmund starlet Alexander Isak - dubbed the new Ibrahimovic - was born in Solna and came through the ranks at AIK.