Down The Wings

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Europa League Preview: Real Sociedad vs Manchester United

Real Sociedad vs Manchester United | Europa League Round of 32 | Allianz Stadium | KO 17:55 GMT | BT Sport

Manchester United are beginning to slump in the Premier League, having won just one of their last five league games; the last match ending in a disappointing 1-1 draw away to West Bromwich Albion.

The attention of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his side now turns to the UEFA Europa League, where they face Real Sociedad in the round of 32 first leg on Thursday evening.

The match will be played in Turin due to COVID-19 restrictions, so Sociedad will be given no home advantage, meaning United must capitalise and take something back to Old Trafford with them.

How do Manchester United Look?

There are quite a few injury concerns for United going into Thursday’s clash.

Paul Pogba is expected to be out for a few more weeks and may even miss the upcoming matches against Manchester City and Chelsea, whilst Phil Jones is still yet to return from his long-term injury issue.

Disappointingly, Edinson Cavani and Donny Van de Beek have both picked up muscular issues and were unable to travel with the squad to Italy.

Scott McTominay and Anthony Martial had been classed as doubts but are rumoured to be available.

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Amad Diallo is the name on everyone’s lips at the moment.

People are desperate to see what he would be like in the first team and it feels like the Europa League could be his place to prove himself, before he eventually makes his domestic debut.

The right-hand side is crying out for someone to make it their own at United, and an impressive game against Sociedad could allow Diallo to do exactly that.

Marcus Rashford made his debut, and his name, in the Europa League; there is no reason why Diallo cannot do the same.

Dean Henderson is likely to start in goal, whilst Eric Bailly will be hopeful of pairing up with Harry Maguire at the back.

Opposition: Real Sociedad

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There are a few familiar faces in the Real Sociedad ranks.

Former United youngster Adnan Januzaj is the one that most United fans will be intrigued to see how he does.

The academy graduate still has a buy-back clause inserted into his contract, and an impressive performance on Thursday may turn Solskjaer’s head.

The other name of note is David Silva.

The Spaniard is a Manchester City icon and will be desperate to get one over his old neighbours.

Key Stats

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Manchester United have faced Real Sociedad just twice, The Reds winning the first game 1-0 and the second ending in a 0-0 draw.

The only goal that United have ever scored against Sociedad was an Inigo Martinez own goal.

Incidentally, David Moyes was the manager of United in 2013 when these sides met, whose first job after leaving The Reds was the managerial role at Sociedad.


Real Sociedad 1-2 Manchester United. A brace from Amad Diallo.

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