Written by Ciaran Coyle
Prediction: Manchester United 1-1 Real Sociedad
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be looking to build some momentum going into two tough fixtures in the Premier League as the visitors will have to overturn a 4-0 aggregate lead to progress to the Round of 16 in the Europa League.
United put themselves in a strong position in this tie with a comprehensive 4-0 win in Turin giving a potential opportunity for Solskjaer to rotate his side and give fringe players some much needed minutes on the pitch.
Real Sociedad will have to do something they have never been able to achieve against Manchester United by beating the Red Devils and winning their first match in European competition in England by five or more goals.
The last time these two sides met at Old Trafford the home side ran out 1-0 victors in a close encounter during the 2013/14 Champions League group-stage campaign.
However, the visitors may be encouraged by the home side’s poor record at home to Spanish sides in European knockout matches with United’s last win coming 13 years ago with a 1-0 win over Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals.
Sociedad’s David Silva has also had a favourable record at Old Trafford in his career, enjoying six wins in his previous eight visits to the Theatre of Dreams, including making five goal contributions to his side’s performances.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that Edinson Cavani, Donny Van De Beek and Scott McTominay are all out of this fixture as they continue to nurse injuries picked up in the last few weeks.
Sociedad defender, Robin Le Normand is out of the game through suspension whilst Joseba Zaldua, who was forced off through injury in the first leg, has not managed to be fit for Thursday evenings encounter.
Sub-edited by Cameron Winstanley
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