Ajax v Manchester United: Match preview


Ajax v Manchester United

UEFA Europa League

Amsterdam Arena

Thursday, February 16 2012. Kick-off: 1800


Eyong Enoh suffered a hamstring tear in Ajax's weekend victory against NAC Breda on Saturday and is unavailable for selection.

Theo Janssen, Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, Derk Boerrigter, Gregory van der Wiel and Andre Ooijer are also injured.

But the good news for Frank de Boer is that left-back Nicolai Boilesen could return after five months out.

Patrice Evra will be rested by Sir Alex Ferguson and Rio Ferdinand takes on the Manchester United captaincy in his absence.

Ryan Giggs and Dimitar Berbatov are both injured, but Nani and Phil Jones return after missing the last four matches with foot and ankle injuries respectively.


Ferguson has Ajax respect


Sir Alex Ferguson insists Manchester United will not be taking Ajax lightly this evening, and has complete respect for the rich history of the Dutch club.

Ajax have won only once in 2012 and currently occupy sixth place in the Eredivisie; a far cry from the form expected from club that can boast four European Cup final triumphs.

Ferguson, though, believes current form is irrelevant and that Ajax will provide a stern examination for his side due to the footballing philosophies they continue uphold.

And, although Ajax youngster Christian Eriksen has been the pre-match focus for the media, Ferguson is wary of the danger of the Godenzonen as a whole, rather than the talents of one individual player.

"I worry more about Ajax's history than any individual in their team at this moment in time," Ferguson said at his pre-match press conference.

"I respect that history. It's fantastic that Ajax have retained that philosophy for so many years.

"They play the same style, the same system, the same tactics. It's fantastic and I respect that.

"The standard of Dutch sides is always good. Unfortunately the problem is that all the best players want to leave and go on to bigger things, but Holland keeps producing players and it's a great credit to them."

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