Down The Wings

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Real Sociedad vs Manchester United Match Preview: Kick-off time, TV Channel, Team News and Score Prediction

Manchester United travel to San Sebastian for their final Europa League group stage game against Real Sociedad. When the two sides met at Old Trafford earlier in the group stage Real Sociedad got the better of United after a controversial penalty was given against Lisandro Martinez.

United must win the match by two clear goals if they want to qualify top of the group and avoid potentially facing the teams dropping down from the Champions League.

Competition: Europa League
Venue: Reale Arena
Kick Off: 17:45 UK Time
Channel: BT Sport

How do Manchester United Look?

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United’s last game saw them grind out a 1-0 win over West Ham in the Premier League with Marcus Rashford’s 100th goal being the difference between the two sides. After Rashford’s opener, United’s scoring problems came to light as the side struggled to find a second goal. The Reds will need to cut down on some of their speculative efforts and move the ball into more dangerous positions if they want to score multiple goals against Sociedad.

The performance against West Ham did show off United’s defensive unit as they kept their fifth consecutive clean sheet at Old Trafford. David de Gea was the standout performer making clutch saves to deny West Ham at the end of the game. Diogo Dalot was also exceptional, positioning himself well and winning his aerial duels at the back post when The Hammers tried to target him. Harry Maguire also had a good showing after being thrust back into the starting XI due to United’s injuries at centre-back.

Antony missed United’s victory against West Ham and hasnt been seen training with the group on Wednesday ahead of the teams’ flight. Jadon Sancho was also absent from the training session.

Raphael Varane will be out until the World Cup after he suffered a hamstring injury against Chelsea. Victor Lindelof was not part of the matchday squad against West Ham due to illness but was spotted in training on Wednesday.

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Anthony Martial has also been pictured back on the grass at Carrington this week for the first time since his injury at Goodison Park. It will be interesting to see what role he could play on Thursday as it is a must-win game for United and Erik ten Hag has shown then when fit Martial is his go-to striker.

Opponents: Real Sociedad

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Real Sociedad currently sit 5th in La Liga after 12 games, but they have just lost back-to-back games in the league. In their most recent fixture, they suffered a 2-0 defeat to Real Betis after failing to convert their chances. La Real can be vulnerable to conceding sloppy goals, they’ve only kept four clean sheets in the league so far this season and currently only have a +1 goal difference, so United will be hoping that they can capitalise on this.

Sociedad have a number of attacking players that could cause problems for United, but right-winger Brais Mendez is the pick of the bunch. The summer signing is currently Sociedad’s top scorer so far this season with seven goals in all competitions while chipping in with three assists. Mendez has gelled wonderfully with his new team and poses a serious threat when aiming at goal with his left foot. His penalty goal in the reverse fixture saw his side beat United at Old Trafford. La Real also possess quality midfielders in Mikel Merino and Martin Zubimendi who are good technically and can control games.

Key Stats

Real Sociedad have conceded more goals at home than away this season.
10 of Marcus Rashford’s 100 Manchester United goals have come in the Europa League.

Prediction

Manchester United have been building momentum in recent weeks and will look to continue that in this game. With Erik ten Hag aware of what his team needs to do to finish top of the group United should put pressure on Real Sociedad early in the game. La Real are a good side though, and it will not be an easy game for The Reds.

Real Sociedad 0-2 Manchester United

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