Foot Predictions shows the Europa League clash on Thursday between Real Sociedad and Manchester United, including hunches, news about the teams and possible lineups.
Having fallen disappointingly in the Champions League, Manchester United will aim for a chance at glory in the Europa League, and his first test is a first-leg clash in the last 32 with Spanish giants Real Sociedad.
This tie will be played in Turin due to coronavirus travel restrictions, and Sociedad comes to this game after finishing second in Group F, behind Napoli.
Although all chances of a La Liga title dispute have dissipated for Sociedad, the Spanish team finally started to get some crucial victories again before a gigantic clash with Man United.
Victories over Cadiz and Getafe earlier this month marked the first time since November that Imanol AlguacilThe team’s team had won consecutive victories and, before the 4-1 victory over the first, on February 7, Sociedad won only two of the previous 17 in all competitions.
Alexander IsakThe champion’s ninth goal of the season in La Liga was enough to propel the men of Alguacil to victory over Getafe at the weekend, but the return of a certain Mikel Oyarzabal grabbed all the headlines, with the full-back quickly recovering from an injury in a big increase in his team’s chances for the confrontation with Man United.
However, Sociedad’s difficulties in the Europa League group stage were disheartening, to say the least, as the Spaniards won just two of their six games and drew the last three, but the nine points they accumulated were enough to seal the second place in Group F – two points behind leader Napoli and one ahead of AZ Alkmaar.
Of the 24 teams that advanced to the Europa League group elimination round, Sociedad scored the fewest goals – only five in his name – but with only four scored at the other end of the field, United strikers cannot play luxury of leaving your shooting boots at home this week.
A good portion of Man United fans may well hold Mino Raiola responsible for leaving the Champions League, as the super agent stated that Paul PogbaThe future at Old Trafford had ended just hours before the decisive match against RB Leipzig, which ended his hopes in the Champions League for another season.
The 3-2 defeat at the home of the German powers followed previous defeats to Istanbul Basaksehir and Paris Saint-Germain, with United’s record of three victories and three defeats insufficient to defeat PSG or Leipzig – both three points ahead of Red Devils – for one of the top two places in Group H.
Ole Gunnar SolskjaerThe team’s team immediately started an impressive Premier League unbeaten record after their elimination in the Champions League, but have struggled to assert themselves as a dominant force in recent weeks and have won just two of the last six in all competitions, as well as one in five in the Premier League.
Bruno fernandesThe Premier League’s 14th goal of the season at West Bromwich Albion was as spectacular as we got used to seeing him, but the Portuguese star’s individual brilliance can only take Man United so far and the Baggies held on for one point afterwards Mbaye Diagneearly opening of.
If the Red Devils start shooting all cylinders again, they will undoubtedly be tipped for glory in Europe’s secondary competition, and Real Sociedad lost 1-0 at Old Trafford before drawing 0-0 at home against United in the 2013-14 Champions League group stages.
Real Sociedad Europa League form: WLWDDD
Forma Real Sociedad (all competitions): WDLDWW
Manchester United form (all competitions): LDWDWD
All news from the teams
As mentioned, Oyarzabal came back from injury to play 79 minutes in Sunday’s victory over Getafe, and the highly rated 23-year-old must line up again on the left.
The Red Devils are likely to find a familiar face on the opposite flank in the form of Adnan Januzaj, but he has not yet opened his Europa League account for the campaign and can find his place under the threat of Portu.
Luca Sangalli and Miguel Angel Moya remain injured to the ‘home’ side, who can also choose to bring Robin Le Normand back to the heart of the defense.
Man United’s Pogba continues to recover after a hamstring injury and he is not available for this clash, but there is hope that the Frenchman will be able to return for next week’s second leg.
The changes would not go badly for visitors in the midst of their substandard shape lately, with Mason Greenwood – who recently extended his stay at the club until 2025 – potentially downgrading Anthony Martial to the very wide bench.
Dean Henderson had only one chance in one of the United Champions League matches – his 2-1 loss at Basaksehir – but he has a chance to play this week while Alex Telles could be brought in due to his vast experience on the continental stage.
Possible initial line-up of Real Sociedad:
Remiro; Gorosabel, Le Normand, Elustondo, Monreal; Zubeldia, Merino, Silva; Januzaj, Isak, Oyarzabal
Possible initial lineup for Manchester United:
Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Bailly, Telles; Fred, McTominay; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Cavani
Probability: Real Sociedad 2-2 Manchester United
Not only has Sociedad finally returned to winning ways, but Oyarzabal’s faster-than-expected return will leave the hosts full of confidence ahead of this tie. The away goals rule is still at stake, despite the use of a neutral pitch, so United can choose to use an enthusiastic approach to have the best possible chance of advancing, but we hope that Sociedad will take advantage of the Red’s weaknesses. Devils and tie in the first leg.
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