Manchester United vs Real Sociedad predictions and match preview for Thursday’s UEFA Europa League fixture. Read on for analysis and predicted lineups as La Real travel to Old Trafford.
|Date||Thursday 8th September 2022|
|Kick-Off||20:00 (local time)|
|Competition||UEFA Europa League|
Manchester United vs Real Sociedad Preview
Real Sociedad head to Old Trafford for a tricky opening Europa League group game against Manchester United. Their opponents are in form after four straight Premier League wins but La Real will relish the chance to test themselves against the English side.
There is a sense that they didn’t really do themselves justice in the 2020/21 Europa League Last 32 tie between the clubs. Those were altogether stranger times with Real Sociedad unable to play their home leg in the Basque Country and they were 4-0 down by the time of a scoreless return at an empty Old Trafford. This time around, La Real and their supporters can enjoy the occasion a bit more with many expected to travel to England for this game.
It’s not the first big test that Imanol’s side have had this season. They’ve already faced both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in LaLiga and picked up a useful point against the latter at the weekend. There was a debut goal for deadline day signing Umar Sadiq, a bright start for the striker who has been signed to replace Alexander Isak and his whirlwind week will continue here at the theatre of dreams.
The good news for Real Sociedad this time against United, is that a defeat here would be by no means a terminal blow to their hopes of European progress. They will be expected to beat both Omonia and Sheriff, the other two teams in this group. However there is a significant advantage for coming 1st in that you effectively get a bye through the play-off round in February and both teams in this fixture will be very hungry for that.
United are among the favourites to go all the way and win this competition and they have bounced back well from a woeful start to the season under new coach Erik ten Hag. The Dutchman has dropped both Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire in recent league games and the results have been positive, although the duo may well rotate in here and will presumably have something of a point to prove. There could also be a first start for Casemiro following his move from Real Madrid and the Brazilian is clearly a player Real Sociedad will know all about.
Manchester United: Dubravka – Shaw, Maguire, Varane, Wan-Bissaka – Fred, Casemiro, De Beek – Elanga, Ronaldo, Antony (4-3-3)
Real Sociedad: Remiro – Munoz, Le Normand, Zubeldia, Elustondo – Merino, Zubimendi – Kubo, Silva, Mendez – Sadiq (4-2-3-1)
Score Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Real Sociedad
There is a feel good factor at Old Trafford all of a sudden when it comes to the team, even if the protests against the owners continue. It doesn’t feel like a great moment for Real Sociedad to be heading there but the Basques have plenty of quality in their team and should be able to make a game of it. United’s extra quality, particularly in terms of what they can bring on off the bench, may prove decisive though.
PLEASE NOTE – Our European predictions are not betting tips! No profits are guaranteed if you’re using them to bet on Spanish teams playing in Europe. If you are gambling, do so responsibly and never stake more than you can afford to lose. BeGambleAware.