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Manchester United Fixtures

United Look to Seal Europa Progress at Home

For those who’ve grown accustomed to seeing my pre-match previews, I apologize for my absence last week. However, it was an excused absence, as I was welcome my first child, a rather adorable little girl (yes, I’m biased, of course!), into the world. The last week has been quite hectic, to say the least, but I can’t say I’ve had many better weeks.

Speaking of children, it was widely expected that the current star pupil of United’s academy was going to get a start tonight against Ajax, with United having a decided advantage after last Thursday’s 2-0 win in Amsterdam. However, to my surprise and likely to the surprise of many others, not only is Paul Pogba not starting, he’s not even on the bench. It’s perhaps understandable that he isn’t starting, but you’d think that he’d at least be on the bench, given the situation. But there’s a reason why I’m behind a computer instead of in the technical area…

Selfish desires aside, the XI that will be out there will be a pretty strong one, with Nani and Phil Jones back and starting. Up front, it’s Herbatov (or Berbadez?), and at least one of those two will find the back of the net tonight, I guarantee you that. And pulling the strings in central midfield will be a former star pupil of the academy in Tom Cleverley, who’s making a second consecutive start.

Tonight should be worry-free, with an emphasis on should. Ajax aren’t a bad side in the least, and if they get an early goal, who knows what could happen? However, it’s hard to see United doing anything to throw away the great advantage they come into tonight with.

Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Jones, Smalling, Fabio; Nani, Park, Cleverley, Young; Berbatov, Hernandez

Subs: Amos, Evans, Evra, Carrick, Giggs, Scholes, Welbeck

Ajax: Vermeer; Van Rhijn, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Koppers; De Jong, Anita, Eriksen; Ozbiliz, Lodeiro, Sulejmani

Subs: Cillessen, Ooijer, Blind, Serero, Aissati, Ebecilio, Klaassen

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