Manchester United vs Real Betis predictions and match preview for Thursday’s UEFA Europa League fixture. Read on for analysis and predicted lineups as Betis travel to Old Trafford.
|Thursday 9th March 2023
|UEFA Europa League
Manchester United vs Real Betis Preview
Real Betis travel to England for one of the biggest nights in their recent history on Thursday as their glamour Europa League Last 16 tie against Manchester United kicks off. The Spanish side are sure to be backed by a strong following from Seville at Old Trafford while the hosts will be keen to get back on track after a woeful defeat at Liverpool on Sunday.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side couldn’t really have landed a tougher draw but they can take confidence from a really strong group stage campaign. They collected 16 points from their 6 matches with a 2-1 win away to Roma, the decisive match in ensuring they topped a group which also included HJK and Ludogorets. This stage has been the limit for Betis in recent years though with a 3-2 aggregate defeat against eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt in the Last 16 last term, their best performance in Europe since they lost to city rivals Sevilla on penalties at the same stage in 2013/14.
Betis do take decent form into this tie. They’d won 3 in a row in LaLiga before drawing 0-0 against Real Madrid at the Benito Villamarin at the weekend. Betis have though been rocked by a season ending injury for Nabil Fekir which is a real shame as he’s one player who really would have relished the opportunity to play on this stage.
As for Manchester United, there was almost nothing negative to say until midway through Sunday afternoon. They’d just won their first trophy in six years and everything seemed to be heading in the right direction under Erik ten Hag. That was until a 7-0 defeat at Anfield, one of the most humiliating results in United’s long history.
Whether that works in Betis’ favour or against them, we’ll probably find out soon enough on Thursday. A response is clearly needed from United who have been impressive for the most part this season. This competition may not be their number one priority this term but they should comfortably qualify for the Champions League via the league and a strong XI is likely in this game.
Score Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Real Betis
Much will depend on how Manchester United respond to their Anfield defeat but Betis are a good side and have racked up plenty of European experience over the past two years. They’re hoping to have Sergio Canales fit too which will give them a bit of creative spark in the absence of Nabil Fekir and they look capable of at least staying in the tie ahead of next week’s return in Seville.
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