Europa League: Imanol Alguacil's recent game in La Liga was a 4-0 win against Deportivo Alaves

Europa League: Sociedad Play For Pride In Manchester

Manchester United vs Real Sociedad

Real Sociedad have a mountain to climb when they head to Old Trafford on Thursday for their Europa League second-leg clash. In fact, it’s all about pride for the Basque club.

After a one-sided first leg in Turin, the Red Devils lead the tie by 4-0 and a Round of 16 place is beckoning for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team.

This second leg is really hard to call against United and Solskjaer will rotate his squad with one eye on a huge Premier League game away to Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea on Sunday, while the visitors too will be keen to avoid injuries on a cold Manchester evening.

Real Sociedad simply didn’t turn up in Italy but they have been going well in La Liga and Imanol Alguacil’s priorities will be the domestic league.

 

Talking Points

Manchester United’s quest for silverware

After their stunning victory in Turin, the Red Devils were installed as tournament favourites here at SBOTOP with our outright Europa League 2021 betting odds offering 4.50 on Solskjaer’s team, while Tottenham are at 5.50 and then Arsenal and AC Milan at 11.00.

The Red Devils still have a painful memory of being dumped out of last season’s Europa League by Sevilla and they are determined to put that right this year.

Bruno Fernandes bagged a brace in the first leg of Manchester United's Europa League round of 32 tie vs Real Sociedad

Bruno Fernandes celebrates after scoring Manchester United’s third goal against Newcastle United

A European trophy is arguably the Red Devils’ best chance of silverware in 2021 as they are out of the EFL Cup and have a difficult FA Cup tie away to Leicester City while Manchester City are running away with the Premier League.

Manchester United were relentless at the Juventus Stadium last week as Bruno Fernandes bagged a brace and Marcus Rashford and Daniel James scored to sweep Sociedad away.

But United’s defence will offer their visitors a little hope as they are prone to lapses which cost them two points in a recent 3-3 draw with Everton.

 

Can Sociedad bounce back?

After taking a drubbing from Manchester United last week, head coach Alguacil got a response from his team as they hammered Alaves 4-0 in their weekend La Liga clash.

Real Sociedad are in a battle for a 2021/22 European place, and an upturn in form with three league wins on the bounce has cemented La Real’s position in the top seven and hauled them back into the race for a Champions League spot.

Sociedad started the 2020/21 league season in devastating form but a slump saw them fall away before this latest run of victories turned things around again.

This team has bounce back ability!

Former Borussia Dortmund striker Alexander Isak scored a hat-trick against Alaves and he has attracted the interest of Europe’s top clubs – notably Barcelona.

 

He’s enjoying a good campaign as he scored 12 goals in 20 appearances for Sociedad and he could make an appearance on Thursday, while star man Mikel Oyarzabal is out injured.

And the La Real boss is likely to shield mercurial midfielder David Silva as the ex-Manchester City man makes his way back from injury.

Now at 301.00 to win the 2021 Europa League, this is all about practice and pride for Sociedad.

They were simply dreadful at the neutral venue in Italy, failing to test the United defence and succumbing all too easily to Manchester United’s fast breaks and Iguacil will expect better at Old Trafford.

 

History

These two teams have only met three times. They played out two tight games in the 2013/14 Champions League groups stage, with United winning 1-0 at Old Trafford before playing out a goalless draw in the Basque country.

Of course, the third game was last week’s first leg 4-0 triumph for Solskjaer’s team and Sociedad will be keen to redress the balance.

La Real are in decent shape after taking 10 points from their last four league games, but United are a tough nut to crack as they are unbeaten in seven games in all competitions.

Manchester United were Europa League winners in 2017 and the United boss will be determined to have a smooth path to the Round of 16.

 

Betting Tip

??
Manchester United vs Real Sociedad Total Goals 2-3 @ 1.85
February 26, 04:00 (GMT+8)

The Red Devils are at 1.91 to win the second leg with the draw at 3.26 and La Real at 3.26 to take some revenge.

Can Sociedad pull off one of the biggest Europa League 2021 results of the week at Old Trafford? Well, I very much doubt they can overturn a four-goal deficit but I’d be surprised if they rolled over again.

I can see a 1-1 draw or United winning by the odd goal in three.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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