Europa League: Ajax v Manchester United in Amsterdam

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

When in Amsterdam is quietly nervous ahead of tonight's game Ajax Amsterdam versus Manchester United.

One of the biggest Amsterdam football matches of the year is due to kick off latter today. Ajax plays Manchester United in the first of two matches for the Europe in the knock-out round of 32.

Ajax Amsterdam has been experiencing problems on and off the field in 2012. Losses to arch-rival Feyenoord and ladder leaders have left the home side in 6th place in the Dutch League.

Management argument and court cases have also dominated Dutch headlines with some saying the Ajax brand has been diminished by the bitter infighting.

Manchester United is in form. With a 2-1 victory over Liverpool and striker Wayne Rooney scoring 10 goals over his last 9 games the Red Devils will be favourites going into the game. Veteran player Ryan Giggs will be rested for the game but with a star studded line up it will be difficult for Ajax to win.

Irregardless of recent results Ajax will be playing for pride. Amsterdam fans are a hardened lot and they will be looking for their team to show that they are no push overs at home.

picture taken from

(taken from Mirror Football)
* Excluding qualifiers, Ajax have failed to score in six of their last eight matches in Europe.
* The Amsterdam side have won just one of their last 10 meetings with English sides in Europe (excluding qualifiers) - and that came in 1980 at home to Nottingham Forest.
* On the only previous occasion these two sides were drawn together in Europe, in the 1976-77 UEFA Cup, Ajax won the first leg 1-0, before losing 2-0 at Old Trafford.
* Manchester United have now scored in 12 successive European matches.
* United have won five of their last seven matches against Dutch teams (W5 D1 L1).
* Ajax attempted more headed shots than any other side in the Champions League group stages (20).
* Ajax have lost three of their last four home games in all competitions.
* After a run of seven clean sheets out of eight on the road, United have now gone five away games in all competitions without one and have conceded more than one goal in four of those five games.
* The UEFA Cup/Europa League is the only competition Manchester United have played in under Sir Alex Ferguson and not won at least one game. Their only appearance during Ferguson's reign was in 1995, when they went out in the first round on away goals after 0-0 and 2-2 draws with Russian side Rotor Volgograd.

When in Amsterdam ....enjoy!

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