Man Utd vs Real Sociedad Preview, Team News, Likely Line-Ups, Key Man & Prediction
Manchester United welcome Real Sociedad to Old Trafford on Wednesday night. Here is a preview with team news, likely line-ups and predicted score for the game.
Manchester United welcome Real Sociedad to Old Trafford on Wednesday night looking to go one step closer to securing qualification to the knockout stages of the Champions League.
The Red Devils will be hoping to put their domestic woes behind them after making their worst start to a Premier League season in 24 years, with the defending champions currently sitting eight in the table and a full 8 points off leaders Arsenal.
However, United head into the game tonight top of Group A after following up a 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen with a solid 1-1 draw away at Shakhtar Donetsk and a win tonight would move them within touching distance of the next phase.
United will have to improve upon their recent record at home to Spanish opposition though, that’s seen them collect just one win in their last six games in Europe. Defeats against Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao have seen United knocked out in recent years and you have to go back to 2008 for United’s last win over a Spanish team on home soil.
But David Moyes has an excellent chance to end that run tonight as they take on a Sociedad side that’s yet to earn a single point from their first two games in the Champions League, while they are also struggling for consistent form in La Liga.
United are sweating on the fitness of defenders Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic with both struggling to overcome injury. The duo missed Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Southampton and were forced to sit out training on Tuesday so are classed as major doubts to feature tonight.
Their continued absence will most likely see Phil Jones paired with Jonny Evans at the back, although Chris Smalling is pushing for a recall.
Moyes is hopeful that Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley will be passed fit despite carrying knocks, while Patrice Evra is expected to start even though he picked up a slight knee injury in training yesterday.
Youngster Adnan Januzaj could be given a breather after two successive starts while Antonio Valencia may be recalled to the starting eleven.
Sociedad will assess the fitness of captain Xabi Preito ahead of the game after he made a second half substitute appearance at the weekend following injury but he may have to make do with a place among the subs once again.
Midfielder Gorka Elustondo is certain to miss the clash with a thigh injury and he joins on loan Esteban Granero on the sidelines.
Carlos Vela is expected to face former Arsenal team mate Robin van Persie as he starts in attack.
Robin van Persie: The Dutchman has had a fairly quiet season so far by his high standards with niggling injuries hampering his progress, but he returned with a goal at the weekend and I can see him being a key figure in this game.
Man Utd 3-0 Real Sociedad: Sociedad can be a dangerous side on the break but United should have far too much for them to handle.
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