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Manchester United in 2007/08 Champions League final.

Man Utd's 2007/08 Champions League XI vs possible Europa League final XI

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Manchester United have one final shot at qualifying for the Champions League next season.

Having finished in a disappointing sixth in the Premier League, Jose Mourinho's men must win Wednesday night's Europa League final with Ajax - or else.

Failure to win would see United remain in Europe's second-tier competition for next season, alongside Arsenal and Everton.

Team selection will be vital in Stockholm. Mourinho is set to recall a number of big-name players who missed out against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Among those are Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia.

Win the Europa League and Mourinho's first season in charge at United will somewhat be regarded as a success, having already won the EFL Cup.

However, there was once a time when the Red Devils were competing for both the Premier League and Champions League.

The 2007/08 season will live long in the memory for United fans for that very reason, after beating Chelsea in the Champions League final to secure a historic double.

Manchester United v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League Final

So what's changed since then? Nine years on and United are relishing the chance to win the Europa League - something Sir Alex Ferguson wouldn't have settled for.

One big difference is the quality of the two squads.

While United's starting line-up for the 07/08 Champions League final was incredible, their possible XI for the Europa League final is filled with quality but nowhere near as good. Let's compare.

2016/17 Europa League final possible XI

GK - Sergio Romero

RB - Antonio Valencia

CB - Phil Jones

CB - Daley Blind

LB - Matteo Darmian

CM - Marouane Fellaini/Michael Carrick

CM - Ander Herrera

CM - Paul Pogba

RW - Jesse Lingard

ST - Marcus Rashford

LW - Henrikh Mkhitaryan

2007/08 Champions League final XI

GK - Edwin van der Sar

RB - Wes Brown

CB - Rio Ferdinand

CB - Nemanja Vidic

LB - Patrice Evra

RM - Owen Hargreaves

CM - Paul Scholes

CM - Michael Carrick

LM - Cristiano Ronaldo

ST - Carlos Tevez

ST - Wayne Rooney

Safe to say United's Champions League winning side from nine years ago would crush the reported 11 set to face Ajax in the Europa League final.

Having David de Gea and Zlatan Ibrahimovic would make a difference, of course, but it's hard to see past a team containing Cristiano Ronaldo, a younger Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez and Paul Scholes.

Manchester United's Portugese midfielder

And that's without mentioning United's world-class defence, featuring the solid centre-back partnership of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

Mourinho's crop of players wouldn't stand a chance.

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Topics:
Football
Paul Pogba
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain

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