Manchester United will face Real Sociedad at away in the Europa League and below are our predictions, team news, and predicted starting lineup for the clash.
Man United started their European campaign with a 1-0 home defeat to Real Sociedad following a controversial penalty but they won their next four matches and are one win away from finishing as the winners of Group E.
United are in the 2nd position with 12 points after five matches but will finish the group stage at the summit if they beat the La Liga side by two goals or more. This year’s Europa League group stage will be judged, if both teams are on the same number of points, rather by head-to-head meetings than by goal difference.
Manchester United Team News
The Red Devils welcomed Anthony Martial back into the squad this week after the Frenchman fully recovered from a lower back injury he suffered in the first half against Everton in October.
As a result, the former Monaco striker is now in contention to feature against Real Sociedad on Thursday night.
Antony missed last weekend’s 1-0 win over West Ham United due to an injury and wasn’t part of the players who returned to training on Monday. The Brazilian now has Tuesday and Wednesday to be fit in time for the clash on Thursday.
Victor Lindelof missed the game last weekend due to an illness and wasn’t part of the training on Monday as well and in his absence, Harry Maguire played 90 minutes and impressed against the Hammers and the United skipper, at the moment, is the favourite to start alongside Lisandro Martinez at the back on Thursday.
Raphael Varane remains on the sidelines with a hamstring injury. He’s expected to miss the remainder of United’s games this month but will be fit for the World Cup in Qatar.
Predicted Manchester United starting lineup vs Real Sociedad
Goalkeeper: David de Gea
Defenders: Diogo Dalot, Harry Maguire, Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw
Midfielders: Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, Bruno Fernandes
Forwards: Anthony Elanga, Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford
Predictions for Real Sociedad vs Manchester United
Manchester United to win
The Red Devils lost the reverse fixture at home after David Silva scored from a controversial penalty. United, at the time, were still adapting to how Erik ten Hag wanted his team to play but yet, the Spanish side struggled to keep up with Manchester United.
The Reds have improved massively since the game in September and are unbeaten in their last eight matches. United are aware that they need to win the game by two goals and that’s what they will try to do in Spain and also dominate the game, just as they had done in their last seven games.
Both teams to score YES
With the absence of Raphael Varane, Manchester United are obviously going to lack a bit at the back, although they performed brilliantly at the back and kept a well-fought clean sheet against West Ham United.
Real Sociedad are aware United will try to score two goals and because they are playing at home too, they wouldn’t sit back and let United pounce on them. They obviously will get some goalscoring chances and we expect them to convert JUST one!
Over 2.5 goals and Casemiro to get booked
Since we are expecting both teams to get on the scoreboard and Manchester United to still win the game, we are obviously suggesting the game will end with over 2.5 goals at full-time and yes, it likely would.
Casemiro is expected to start in the midfield as the match is as important as a Premier League game and will make some tackles – after all he’s Manchester United’s guard dog, hence expecting him to get on the referee’s book.