Europa League Round of 32 Preview: Manchester United v Real Sociedad (4-0)
Manchester United hold a commanding four goals to nil advantage over La Liga side Real Sociedad after a dominating performance in Turin last week. Bruno Fernandes had a brace, Marcus Rashford scored and Daniel James finished the tie in the 90th minute.
Scott McTominay seemed to have picked up a knock and was held out at the weekend. United picked up another win in the Premier League on Sunday beating Newcastle 3-1.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a lot of options with the cushion but is also aided by the five sub rule in Europe, he could implore a few regulars in the first half to ensure the tie is sealed, but could opt for a more youthful side. An early goal from Sociedad could hamper the ability to have an easy night.
Paul Pogba is still out.
Possible Formation/Line Up
Solskjaer has not changed his shape much lately and will probably keep the (4-2-3-1), but maybe the lack of fit midfielders could force Solskjaer into a change of shape, possibly a back three.
We could see a lot of youth and a mixture of fringe players. Diallo, Mata, Bailly, Tuanzebe, Shoretire, Galbraith and Williams. Some of these players are playing for their United futures.
(4-2-3-1) Henderson, Williams, Bailly, Tuanzebe, Telles, Matic, Fred, Mata, Martial, Greenwood, James
It does not seem likely that Solskjaer hands the keys of the castle to the kids, but if they hold in the first half, youth can be called upon early in the second half. Solskjaer at the press conference elected again to keep his cards close and would not say if they were starting or not.
Real Sociedad bounced back after the loss in Turin to thump Alaves 4-0, Alexander Isaak, who was recently linked with Barcelona, had a hat-trick and Portu added the fourth. Sociedad had only four shots on targets so they were lethal with their opportunities.
Sociedad bouncing back at the weekend could boost their confidence to push for an early goal that could change the dynamic of the match. They still have a lot of top attacking talent that can get hot. “They have some amazing players in their squad. We cannot relax, because they know how to play football,” said Nemanja Matic in an interview with MUTV.