Sunday, April 18, 2021

Prediction: Manchester United vs Real Sociedad

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

Simply looking to finish the job off in midweek, Manchester United will welcome Real Sociedad to an empty Old Trafford on Thursday night.

Manchester United

Starting with the hosts, after putting in a thumping display out in Spain last week, Manchester United will know that it is essentially already job done on Thursday night. Eventually cruising their way to a 4-0 romp at the Reale Arena seven days ago, the Premier League giants will simply be looking to finish off the job on home soil. With one foot in the quarter-finals of this year’s Europa League, the Reds also picked up some real momentum last weekend. While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side might not have been quite at their best against relegation scrappers Newcastle, United did eventually pick up a 3-1 win and they have found a route back to second in the Premier League table. Still in pole position to secure themselves another top-four finish this season, Tuesday’s hosts have bounced back from that shock defeat against Sheffield United last month. With the red-hot Bruno Fernandes once again getting himself on the scoresheet against the Magpies last weekend, Solskjaer’s men will be hugely confident of extending their unbeaten run in midweek.

Team News

Edinson Cavani, Donny van de Beek, Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba will all once again miss out on Thursday night.

The likes of Dean Henderson, Brandon Williams, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata could all come in at Old Trafford.

Real Sociedad

As for the visitors, while Real Sociedad might have seen their Europa League ambitions go up in smoke last week, the Spanish outfit did manage to make a thumping return to winning ways. Showing no hangover from their drumming at the Reale Arena seven days ago, La Reales landed themselves their own 4-0 romp against Alaves last weekend. Despite knowing that they need a minor miracle if they’re to pull off a stunning European turnaround at Old Trafford this week, Imanol Alguacil’s side had managed to turn a domestic corner over the past month. Although Sociedad might have shown a host of inconsistencies on either side of Spain’s festive break, Thursday’s guests have won each of their last three La Liga matchups on the bounce, their brightest top-flight run since November. Simply looking to save some face and put in a much better display than last week, Sociedad will be calling on Alexander Isak to lead their charge in Manchester. Bagging a hat-trick against Alaves last weekend, the Swedish forward has bagged a stunning nine La Liga goals in just his last six outings.

Team News

Both defenders Robin Le Normand and Joseba Zaldua will miss out at Old Trafford this week.

The duo of Andoni Gorosabel and Modibo Sagnan are expected to come in at Old Trafford.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides faced off in Spain seven days ago, Manchester United picked up a 4-0 victory.
    • Despite their Europa League hammering last week, Real Sociedad have won their last three La Liga matchups on the bounce.
    • Swedish striker Alexander Isak has bagged nine goals in his last six La Liga matchups.
    • Likewise, Bruno Fernandes has recorded six goals in as many appearances across all formats.
    • Each of Manchester United’s last five straight fixtures at Old Trafford has finished with over 2.5 goals.

    Conclusion

    After landing that 4-0 romp out in Spain last week, Manchester United already know they have one foot firmly in the quarter-finals. Simply looking to finish off the job and avoid any real banana skin at Old Trafford, neutrals across Europe will be hoping for another action-packed evening in midweek. On a mission to try and save some face as they travel to the Premier League giants on Thursday, Real Sociedad might think that they have a point to prove. Although La Reales need a miracle, they should be confident of at least bagging themselves something to show for their troubles. Up against a United side that should ring the changes in midweek, we’re backing both teams to find the net in what could be another exciting affair at Old Trafford.

    Verdict: Both teams to score

    Best Odds: 7/10

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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