Manchester United take on the visitors Real Sociedad in the round 1 match of UEFA Europa League group stage. The match will be played on Thursday, September 8th at Old Trafford (Manchester).
Manchester United before the start of last season intended to finally compete for trophies. In the end, they failed. And now they have to play not in the Champions League, but only in the Europa League. This is especially disappointing for Ronaldo, who is “turned” to improve his personal statistics in the tournament. However, the new mentor, ten Hag, put Cristiano on the bench. The Dutchman in Albion started badly, even terribly: 1-2 with Brighton, 0-4 with Brentford. But the club's management also reacted to this by making high-profile purchases (Casemiro and Anthony). And, most importantly, the new coaching staff showed that they can quickly correct mistakes. The turning point was 2-1 in a principled duel with Liverpool. After that, the "Red Devils" squeezed victories with Southampton and Leicester. With both they gave out 1-0 with a fairly equal game. And then it was 3-1 with the leaders Arsenal.
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Real Sociedad are well-quoted in Spanish football. For several years now, they have been waiting for a breakthrough, reaching a new level. In principle, Imanol Alguasil managed to win a cup in the team for which he once played as a football player. And this is the first trophy in a quarter of a century in San Sebastian. But the “churri-urdins” were expected to have a real fight for the 4th place and return to the Champions League. And they were only enough for a good start of the draw, with a further rollback to the 2nd role. So in the last temporade, as a result, it turned out to take only 6th place. Perhaps the current attempt will be a breakthrough, because Sevilla is in crisis? Yeah, they sold the striker, Isak. But the money raised helped to strengthen the squad. Including the attack, where Sorloth was returned and Sadiq Umar was signed from Almeria. Over the weekend, the newcomer helped not lose against Atletico - they drew 1-1.
The clubs have met twice, in 2013 in the Champions League group and in 2021 in the playoffs of the Europa League. Both times Manchester United won the first leg and drew the second leg and never conceded in 4 matches against Real Sociedad! Bookmakers consider the hosts as favorites. It seems that ten Hag is able to achieve results - we are waiting for Manchester United to win.
Prediction for the match: Manchester United to win.