Real Sociedad vs Manchester United – Match Preview & Prediction

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Manchester United are getting ready for their most important match in this part of the season. Despite the Premier League being of the utmost importance and the top four finish being the imperative for the entire campaign, it is clear there will still be a whole lot of football to be played in that competition during 2023. But in Europa League, Man United could get a huge boost if they get to beat Real Sociedad on Thursday night with at least a two-goal difference. If they manage to do so and finish top of their group, they will put themselves in the best possible position to reach the final stages of the competition, by skipping the first knockout round, where the second-placed Europa League sides will meet the likes of Barcelona and other teams from the Champions League. So here is what you need to know ahead of this match.

Team News

Real Sociedad’s recent results have not been as ideal as before (more on that below), but one of the main reasons for that is the fact the number of their players getting injured is increasing. There are five players we will certainly not see against United, with the likes of David Silva, Mikel Oyarzabal, Umar Sadiq, Ander Martin and Mohamed-Ali Cho missing out. Takefusa Kubo remains a doubt after dislocating shoulder last Thursday, and he is not the only doubt – in this mix are Aihen Munoz, Alex Sola nad Ander Barrenetxea. This long list is where United’s chances will increase.

As for Ten Hag’s team, he will not have Raphael Varane, Axel Tuanzebe nor Brandon Williams in the team. But those are just the defensive problems – further up the pitch Anthony Martial has back problems, Jadon Sancho is ill, while Antony got a knock, and therefore Ten Hag will be expected to make a lot of changes in the starting eleven. This could mean more playing time for Anthony Elanga who started against West Ham as well, while Alejandro Garnacho will hope to at least get some minutes, after getting his full debut against Sheriff in the previous Europa League match.

Form Guide

Man United are expecting this match in really good form. Maybe the performance against West Ham last weekend was not ideal, but the result certainly further improved the mood around the team. Erik Ten Hag’s side is now on a stretch of eight matches being unbeaten, earning six wins and two draws in that timeframe. With wins against Sheriff and West Ham coming in the last week, the Devils will be looking for a big win in Spain to finish top of the group.

Real Sociedad, on the other hand, are also in the fifth place in their domestic league, but they are staying there despite losing their last two La Liga matches. It was not great for them to lose 1-0 first to Real Valladolid, and then 2-0 at home against Real Betis. In fact, since 15 September, Sociedad have won all of their matches apart from those two, winning the remaining nine games. That just goes to show how tricky this trip for United will be.

Predicted Outcome

Considering everything, we predict Manchester United will get a 2-0 win against Real Sociedad, which will see them finish top of their group. There might be some wishful thinking here, as Sociedad are a really good team this season, but with their numerous injuries, United are certainly capable of doing something similar.

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