UEL Match Preview: Manchester United vs Real Sociedad Predictions

Manchester United vs Real Sociedad

Manchester United vs Real Sociedad 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 face mission impossible at Old Trafford.

  • DATE: Thursday 25th February 2021
  • KICK-OFF: 20:00 (local time)
  • VENUE: Old Trafford
  • COMPETITION: UEFA Europa League Last 32, 2nd Leg
  • MANCHESTER UNITED LEAD 4-0 ON AGGREGATE

Manchester United vs Real Sociedad Preview


Old Trafford stadium
Old Trafford via Steve Collis, CC BY 2.0

What promised to be a really entertaining and competitive Europa League tie, is in serious danger of petering out into something of a non-event after Manchester United dominated the 1st Leg in Turin. Real Sociedad will be aiming to restore some pride but will know that this one is effectively already over.

La Real who have impressed so much over the past eighteen months in Spain, ultimately couldn’t cope with the pace and quality of the Manchester United attack. It was perhaps slightly naive of Imanol to not tweak his tactics to better counter that obvious threat and it ended in a 4-0 win for the Premier League side in what was technically Real Sociedad’s home leg.

The Basque side did at least respond in a positive way, putting in one of their most convincing performances for some time to see off local rivals Alaves 4-0 at the weekend. Alexander Isak was frequently the man in the right place at the right time as the Swede completed a hat-trick to continue his fine goalscoring run before Portu added a 4th goal. La Real don’t play again until Monday night away to Real Madrid, so we should still see a relatively strong XI from Imanol, even though they have no real hope of getting back into the tie.

Manchester United are likely to employ greater rotation with an important league game to come on Sunday afternoon against fellow top four hopefuls Chelsea. Clearly they’ve already done the hard work and can afford to make changes meaning the likes of Daniel James and Mason Greenwood will be the focal point of their attacking play rather than Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes.

Head to Head

  • United won the 1st Leg 4-0 in Turin last week.
  • The sides were also 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

Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani and Scott McTominay are the most notable absentees for United but a number of other key men will be rested.

Real Sociedad have a doubt over Aritz Elustondo while Joseba Zaldua is definitely out.

Predicted Manchester United Starting Lineup:

Henderson – Telles, Tuanzebe, Bailly, Williams – Fred, Matic – James, Mata, Diallo – Greenwood (4-2-3-1)

Predicted Real Sociedad Starting Lineup:

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


Manchester United vs Real Sociedad Predictions


Score Prediction: Manchester United 1-1 Real Sociedad (AGG: 5-1)

Manchester United will struggle to exert anywhere near as much dominance if they do field a much rotated team as is expected. Real Sociedad, who had 60% possession in last week’s heavy loss, should enjoy long periods on the ball again and while they are capable of getting a result on the night, it’s impossible to see them seriously getting back into the tie.

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Spanish football writer
About Mark Sochon 1538 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid. He has also lived in Seville and Barcelona and has written extensively about Spanish football. His work has been published by the likes of Guardian Sport & World Soccer.