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Manchester United seek first Europa League title against Ajax

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho could become the first manager to win the Champions League and the Europa League twice.

Manchester United will attempt to win the UEFA Europa League for the first time when they meet Ajax in the final in Stockholm on Wednesday.

With a victory, United would become the fifth club to win the three major UEFA club trophies (Champions League, Europa League and the defunct Cup Winners' Cup), joining Ajax, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Juventus.

They would also qualify to return to the Champions League after a one-year absence. If United were to lose in the final, they would fail to qualify for the Champions League in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1993 -- the first two years of the competition's current format.

Ajax have already qualified for the Champions League's third qualifying round by finishing second in the Eredivisie.

SIG Europa League SPI 20170524
Manchester United have a 71 percent chance of winning the final, according to FiveThirtyEight.com's Soccer Power Index.

This will be the third meeting between an English and a Dutch team in a European final, with the other two occurring in the UEFA Cup -- which was renamed the Europa League in 2009. The nations split those results as Feyenoord defeated Tottenham Hotspur in 1974 and Ipswich Town beat AZ in 1981.

United are also the third English club to qualify for the Europa League final in the past three years, with Chelsea winning in 2013 and Liverpool losing to Sevilla a year ago.

SIG Europa League Head To Head 20170524
Ajax and Manchester United have met four times in European competition, with each side winning at home.

Jose Mourinho has also never lost to Ajax in six previous meetings, each of which occurred in the Champions League when he was the coach at Real Madrid from 2010 to 2013.

If United were to win, Mourinho, in his first season at United, would become the first manager to win the Champions League twice and the Europa League twice. Mourinho won the UEFA Cup in 2002-03 and the Champions League in 2003-04 while with Porto, and he later won the Champions League with Inter Milan in 2009-10.

United, who defeated Celta Vigo in the semifinals, enter on a run of 10 games unbeaten and have conceded only four goals in that span. Ajax, meanwhile, defeated Lyon in the semifinals and have lost two of their last three games. They have advanced on aggregate by only a one-goal margin in each of the four knockout rounds.

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