Real Sociedad vs Manchester United predictions and match preview for Thursday’s UEFA Europa League fixture. Read on for analysis and predicted lineups as both sides target top spot in this group.
|Thursday 3rd November 2022
|18:45 (local time)
|UEFA Europa League
Real Sociedad vs Manchester United Preview
Europa League Group E reaches its conclusion this week with a decisive final game between Real Sociedad and Manchester United. Both sides have already secured progress but top spot and a pass directly into the last 16 is at stake here with the runners-up going into the play-off round.
Real Sociedad are currently in pole position after winning 1-0 at Old Trafford on matchday 1. Both sides have won all their group games since then but La Real also hold a 3 goal lead in the goal difference stakes. That means they can afford to lose this game by a single goal and still win this group, however a two goal defeat would see them slip to 2nd behind the English side.
Imanol is expected to take this game very seriously with a strong lineup and there should be a cracking atmosphere in the Reale Arena. 5 wins, 10 goals scored and only 1 conceded is testament to the excellent job the Basques have done in this group so far, although aside from the Red Devils, the opposition hasn’t been the strongest.
Real Sociedad did suffer a weekend setback though, going down 2-0 at home to Real Betis in LaLiga with both goals coming in the latter stages. You do worry a bit for them over the course of the final week prior to the World Cup break with this injury-ravaged squad having already battled through a really busy period with two games every week.
Manchester United certainly have a deeper squad and it’ll be interesting to see how Erik ten Hag approaches this. He has rotated his troops throughout the competition, although he can count on the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo as one of his back-up options. We may see a strong United side here as they will be hungry to win the group if possible and avoid two extra games in the new year.
After a shaky start, United have found some better form under the Dutchman and currently sit 5th in the Premier League. They are unbeaten in 8 games in all competitions since conceding 6 in the Manchester derby and come into this on the back of a 1-0 win over West Ham.
Real Sociedad: Remiro – Rico, Le Normand, Zubeldia, Elustondo – Zubimendi – Navarro, Merino, Mendez – Kubo, Sorloth (4-1-3-2)
Manchester United: De Gea – Malacia, Martinez, Maguire, Dalot – Eriksen, Casemiro – Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford – Ronaldo (4-2-3-1)
Score Prediction: Real Sociedad 1-1 Manchester United
La Real will take confidence from their victory in Manchester on the opening matchday. This is a slightly different scenario in that they know a 1 goal defeat would be enough. Imanol won’t want his team to be too cautious but he’s unlikely to take many risks here and a tight game should develop and the hosts may just get the result they need to top the group.
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