Manchester United vs Real Sociedad prediction: How will Europa League fixture play out tonight?

Bella Butler
·3-min read
<p></p> (Getty)
(Getty)

Manchester United will hope to ease into the last 16 of the Europa League when they host Real Sociedad on Thursday evening for the second-leg of the round of 32 tie.

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s side cruised to a 4-0 victory in the first leg, with Bruno Fernandes finding the back of the net twice, and are the heavy favourites going into this match on their own turf.

The Red Devils beat Newcastle United 3-1 in Sunday’s Premier League match, and with their battle against Chelsea this weekend, Solskjaer is likely to put out a much-changed team.

La Real were able to recover quickly from United’s thrashing by overcoming Alaves by the same scoreline on Sunday, with Alexander Isak scoring a hat-trick.

They are unlikely to repeat that performance at Old Trafford, but Isak has now found the back of the net nine times in his last six La Liga outings and is one of the brightest young talents in Europe.

READ MORE: Manchester United vs Real Sociedad: Injured trio not ready to return as Paul Pogba steps up recovery

La Real’s coach Imanol Alguacil insists the Basque club want to repair some of the damage to their pride after the first leg: “I have to say it could be almost impossible to go through but I believe that my team can compete. I think we can clean our image, win the game and learn from what happened in Turin.

“We really have to be down to earth and know who we are facing. It’s the best Man United in the last 10 years. They’re really world class physically and quality-wise they’re really good. We know how difficult it is to cause nerves in Man United even if we score that first goal. But we want to be competitive.

Here’s everything you need to know about the game:

When is the match?

The game kicks off at 8pm on Thursday 25 February.

Where can I watch it?

The match will be shown live on BT Sport 2, coverage starts at 19:15 GMT. Subscribers can also stream the match via the BT Sport app.

READ MORE: All Champions League fixtures by date and kick-off time

What is the team news?

Paul Pogba and Phil Jones are definitely out for this game, while Scott McTominay, Edinson Cavani and Donny van de Beek are yet to be given the go ahead following various injuries.

Solskjaer is likely not to risk the trio, and so could give starts to Dean Henderson, Brandon Williams, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata this week.

Harry Maguire is only one yellow card away from suspension and will probably be given a rest this week to give both Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe a run-out in defence.

The Manchester United boss has also confirmed that Amad and Shola Shoretire will both be in the squad for Thursday, but neither youngster is likely to start.

La Real are without two defenders for the second leg as Robin Le Normand is banned following a string of bookings, while Joseba Zaluda suffered a hamstring injury last time out against United.

Zaluda is likely to be replaced at right back by Andoni Gorosabel, while 21-year-old Modibo Sagnan will probably take Normand’s place.

Confirmed line-up

Manchester United XI: Henderson, Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Lindelof, Telles, Fred, Matic, Greenwood, Fernandes (c), James, Martial

Real Sociedad XI: tbc

Odds

Manchester United – 4/5

Draw – 11/4

Real Sociedad – 16/5

Prediction

United have little motivation beyond competition for places and personal pride, given the tie is effectively over, with La Real desperate to restore some pride here. So we’ll go for a draw on the night with both teams to register. Manchester United 1-1 Real Sociedad.

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