This seasons’s Europa Cup Final takes place at the Friends Arena in Stockholm on Wednesday 24 May, kick-off 7.45 PM BST – 22 years to the day since Ajax claimed their last major European trophy, beating AC Milan 1-0 in the 1995 Champions League Final.
United will be looking to join Ajax, Bayern, Chelsea and Juventus in completing a full set of major UEFA club trophies – (Champions League, Cup Winners’ Cup, UEFA Cup/Europa League) with a win in Stockholm.
To complete the set, they’ll have to beat an exciting young Ajax side whose general director is United’s 2008 Champions League winning goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.
This is the clubs’ fifth meeting in UEFA competitions. The past four produced two wins for each side.
Their most recent encounters were in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League round of 32. Ashley Young and Javier Hernández scored in the Amsterdam first leg as United won 2-0. Chicharito extended their lead in the return fixture and, although Ajax won 2-1 on the night, United won the tie.
Current United players Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and David de Gea all featured in that 2011/12 tie for United. Paul Pogba, in his first spell at the club, was on the bench for the first leg.
Should he play in the final and win, Michael Carrick will become the oldest UEFA Europa League winner, at 35 years and 300 days, taking over from Frank Lampard.
Jose Mourinho has won all three of his major UEFA finals. He could match Rafael Benítez’s achievement in becoming the second coach to win the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Europa League.
Whoever wins will become the oldest coach to win the UEFA Europa League, a title currently held by Benítez. Peter Bosz will be 53 years and 184 days old on the day of the final, while Jose Mourinho will be 54 years and 118 days old.
The best place to watch the match is the Friends Arena in Stockholm. But if you haven’t got a ticket try these places for size.
The Milton Club are providing the ultimate viewing experience on high spec screens throughout the venue and a selection of hearty, free flowing football favourites 6-8pm. Sit back, relax and enjoy free flowing food and football at Manchester’s number one venue. Opens at 6pm. Tickets are £25pp via Skiddle here. Or push the boat at with the Premier View Package for up to 6 people and get free flow food served to the table from 6-8pm, dedicated viewing screen and 24 bottled beers on ice for £350. For personalised packages call 0161 850 2353 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
With a whopping 27 television screens, a state-of-the-art golf simulator and a succulent menu, The Green is probably one of the best spots in the city to watch live sports. Just a free kick away from Piccadilly Station, it’s the perfect place to watch the game and catch the last train home in time for bed. Watching the game can build up an appetite. Fortunately there’s plenty of pizzas, burgers and more to gorge on.
Garage Bar are installing brand new screens ahead of the match and there’s a special meal and a drink offer of pie, chips, peas and gravy with a beer or glass of wine for just £10. Orders will be taken before kick off and served at half time. Four pint pitchers will also be on sale (£10 pilsner, £12 Stella and £14 Budvar) while wine will be priced at just £10 a bottle as part of the regular Wine Wednesday promotion. And because the Garage now has an extended license, it can remain open into the small hours. This means that you can stay after the match to celebrate their team’s victory and party the night away or drown your sorrows.
Located in the heart of The Printworks, Walkabout is a popular spot for football fans no matter where your allegiances lie. With a wide selection of food and drink on offer and 16 screens, there won’t be a bad seat in the house.
Despite the name, Dive Bar is actually a great spot and if you happen to be a football fan then you’ll love what’s on offer. With a relaxed atmosphere, stunning HD televisions and plenty of grub, there’s never a dull moment here.
Nobody does football and drinking quite like the Germans, so sit down and enjoy a selection of craft and draught beers on tap, in a bottle, or with a stein. But if you’d like to limit your alcohol intake then there’s still plenty of good food and soft drinks on offer. With 14 screens (including 2 jumbo screens) and plenty of space, there’s nothing quite like watching the match here.
No. of screens: 20 HD-TVs and a 3m x 3m projector screen
Drinks: Huge selection of draught and bottled beers, spirits etc
Food: You bet.
Bierkeller has four fantastic bars in one unique venue. Shooters Sports Bar is every sports fans dream, with all the live sporting action on show constantly across over 20 HD TVs and a huge projector screen. Big match atmosphere guaranteed.
You can’t go anywhere in Northern Quarter without running into a trendy bar, but if you want a place that hasn’t lost the common touch then look no further than Tib Street Tavern. With eight screens you’ll get a great view no matter where you stand.
Black Dog’s New Wakefield Street venue is a New York-style speakeasy that combines a diner with a pool room, roof terrace and basement bar and club. Featuring a live range of sports on a super HD projection screen, you can dine out on good food and watch the game in one of the coolest spots in town. To reserve an area for free, call 0161 233 4031 or email email@example.com
With 8 screens and a capacity of 400 people, Shack should definitely be on the list of places to watch the match. Its location between Piccadilly Station and Piccadilly Gardens means it’s the perfect place for catching the last bus or train or tram home.
This popular hangout is a must if you’re a United fan. With three screens and a selection of fine craft beers and ales on tap, you won’t want to give this one a miss if you prefer a traditional pub setting.
22 Queen St, Manchester M2 5HX / 0161 834 1193
Another favourite haunt for United fans. This traditional pub with three screens (including two large ones) is perfect for a good chin wag, some celebratory pints and – weather permitting – some outdoor fun in the beer garden.
43 Liverpool Rd, Manchester M3 4NQ / 0161 832 7373