Manchester United are preparing for the biggest game of their season as the result of the Europa League final on 24 May between them and Eredivisie side Ajax will decide if the current campaign was a success or a failure.
If the Red Devils, who are probably slight favourites against a young Ajax side, win the game, they will have ensured their place in next season's Champions League and captured their third trophy of the season. United picked up the Community Shield at the start of the season, and added the EFL Cup in February. If not, it will be a return to the Europa League again next season.
Jose Mourinho abandoned hopes of finishing in the top four in March and completely shifted his focus on winning the Europa League stating that winning a title is more important than finishing fourth. The Portuguese manager has rested key players for their commitments in Europe while giving fringe players and even a number of academy stars a run out with the first-team.
United played their youngest team in Premier League history in the final game of the league campaign against Crystal Palace on Sunday (21 May) after the manager chose to rest his main players for the upcoming final on Wednesday (24 May). The likes of Antonio Valencia, Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian, Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford were all left out and the seven are expected to return to the starting lineup for the final.
The big loss for the final is Eric Bailly, who is suspended, after he picked up a straight red during the second-leg of their semi-final win over Celta Vigo. The Ivory Coast international has been one of United's best players this season, and it will be a big blow for the manager. Chris Smalling or Phil Jones is expected to deputise for the Ivorian and partner Daley Blind at the heart of the United defence.
The other question mark is over the fitness of Marouane Fellaini, who picked up an injury during the 0-0 draw against Southampton, which was the penultimate game of the season. The Belgian has played in every game in the Europa League since the start of the knockout phase and even scored the crucial goal in the second-leg to take United to the final.
Herrera and Pogba, who played the first-half of their final league game against Crystal Palace, are expected to start and Mourinho will have to decide between Michael Carrick and Fellaini for the final spot in midfield. The manager revealed after the game against Palace that he knows the team that will play in the final.