UEL Match Preview: Real Sociedad vs Manchester United Predictions

Real Sociedad vs Manchester United predictions

Real Sociedad vs Manchester United predictions and match preview for Thursday’s game in the UEFA Europa League. Read on for the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as La Real bid to topple a European giant. 

  • DATE: Thursday 18th February 2021
  • KICK-OFF: 18:55 (local time)
  • VENUE: Juventus Stadium
  • COMPETITION: UEFA Europa League

Real Sociedad vs Manchester United Preview

Real Sociedad vs Manchester United team news
Juve Stadium via forzaq8, CC BY 2.0

Possibly the tie of the round in the UEFA Europa League sees a talented Real Sociedad side face off against Premier League giants Manchester United. Unfortunately due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, this match won’t take place in the Basque Country. Instead La Real’s temporary home will be the unlikely location of Juventus’ stadium in Turin.

With no fans in attendance anyway, that’s not necessarily a factor which will have a decisive impact on the outcome of this tie but La Real would have loved to have had the chance to host United in Donostia. They’ve not had much luck with the draws on their return to European competition, but did ultimately manage to scrape through a tough Europa League group thanks to a draw in their final group game away to Napoli.

It has been a difficult winter overall for Imanol’s side as their challenge for a top four finish in LaLiga has faded. However they do look to have turned a corner again heading into this tie with some key players returning from injury and back-to-back wins in LaLiga over Cadiz and Getafe. They have enough quality to be more than a match for Manchester United over two legs.

United reached the Semi-Finals of this competition last season, losing to Spanish opposition in the form of Sevilla. This term, it’s perhaps less of a priority overall with a top four finish looking likely in the league. However the quality of the opposition here will pose Ole Gunnar Solskjær with something of an unwanted extra dilemma as he can’t really afford to rest a number of key men and expect to still get the better of a side of La Real’s quality.

They have only won one of their last six matches inside 90 minutes in any case – the 9-0 rout of Southampton in the Premier League. A home game against struggling Newcastle is their league fixture in between the two legs against La Real and that might just offer Solskjaer a bit more leeway in terms of rotating his troops at the weekend, than he might have had were it a tougher fixture.

Head to Head

  • The sides have met before – being paired together in the Champions League group stage in 2013/14.
  • Manchester United won 1-0 at Old Trafford prior to a goalless draw at Anoeta.

Team News

La Real’s injury problems have eased with the likes of David Silva and Mikel Oyarzabal fit again and able to take part in this tie.

Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani and Donny Van de Beek are out for United. Anthony Martial is a doubt.

Predicted Real Sociedad Starting Lineup:

Remiro – Monreal, Le Normand, Zubeldia, Gorosabel – Merino, Illarramendi, Silva – Portu, Isak, Oyarzabal (4-3-3)

Predicted Man United Starting Lineup:

Henderson – Telles, Maguire, Bailly, Wan-Bissaka – Fred, Matic – Rashford, Fernandes, Mata – Greenwood (4-2-3-1)

Real Sociedad vs Manchester United Predictions

Score Prediction: Real Sociedad 1-1 Manchester United

This promises to be a really competitive tie and it’s tough to pick a winner in the 1st Leg. The fact we are in Turin rather than Donostia should in theory work in United’s favour but they can’t afford to underestimate what is a very talented Real Sociedad side. This one looks destined for a draw which would leave everything still to play for heading into the 2nd Leg in Manchester.

UEFA Europa League Betting Tips (18+)

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Read our latest Champions League & Europa League match previews.

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About Mark Sochon 2075 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid. He has been writing about Spanish football since 2014 and regularly attends and covers matches across Spain. His work has also been published by various newspapers and websites including These Football Times, World Soccer and Guardian Sport. Available for freelance work: marksochon (at) hotmail.co.uk