Manchester United will travel to Basque country in Spain to face Real Sociedad where a victory for the Red Devils will almost guarantee their promotion to their next stages of the Champions League.
The Red Devils have had a stuttering start to their Premier League campaign, lying 8th in the table, 8 points behind league leaders Arsenal. However, they have shown signs of improvement in recent matches, as David Moyes’ side have won their last 4 matches on the trot.
Moyes’ side have done exceedingly well in Europe so far and are occupying the top of the Group A table with 7 points. An own goal from Inigo Martinez in the last round saw Utd winning by a slender 1-0 margin against Sociedad, who are yet to earn a point so far in their European campaign.
Real Sociedad on the other hand are lying on 7th place in La Liga with 17 points. Last season, they earned a heroic top four finish, edging Valencia for the Champions League spot. This season the story has been slightly different though, but they are heading into this match on the back of a 5-0 moral boosting victory against Osasuna.
Manchester United will miss at least three players for this tie – right back Rafael, central defender Jonny Evans and midfielder Michael Carrick. Robin van Persie, who became the top Dutch goal scorer in the Premier League after scoring against Fulham in the last match, could be rested while Javier Hernandez might lead the attacking line-up.
Adnan Januzaj who started in the last match could be dropped to the bench for this tie while Moyes might give another chance to Japanese star Shinji Kagawa to impress him.
Prediction: Manchester United drew their last Champions League away game, but Moyes would probably be disappointed to return with a draw only. Despite missing several key players, United will still have enough quality on the pitch. So, 1-2 in favour of the Red Devils.