This Thursday, February 18, 2021, Real Sociedad welcomes Manchester United for a match counting for the round of 16 first leg of the 2020-2021 edition of the Europa League. This match will take place at the Allianz Stadium in Turin (Italy) and kick off will be at 18:55. To reach this stage of the competition, Real Sociedad had finished in 2nd place in group F and Manchester United had obtained 3rd place in group H of the Champions League.
Real Sociedad relies on defense!
We are already used to seeing Real Sociedad in the top third of La Liga rankings for several seasons.
For this reason, their current 5th position is no surprise.
However, it was surprising for me to find that in xPTS , that is, in what they really deserved with their game, they should have been at least 2nd.
I also tried to find the reason for their strong performance. And it turned out that this is a very strong defense.
With only 20 goals conceded in 23 games, Real Sociedad are the fourth strongest defense in La Liga.
Another interesting fact is that in the group stage of the Europa League they scored only 5 goals in xGF of over 14.
That is, they had a very low efficiency in utilizing the created situations.
Manchester United is not on its own!
For Manchester United, I am not very convinced of the level of their motivation for this tournament after the unfortunate relegation from the Champions League.
In addition, at this very moment, they are experiencing some problems with the creation of situations.
Because 0.61 xGF against UBA is almost abnormal for their claims result. See xG data .
The old weakness remains to play harder as guests. That is, a counter-attack.
Yes, but now this match will be played at Juventus Stadium. That is, on neutral ground.
And it is not known at all what role Real Sociedad will assign them.
Prediction for Sociedad - Man United
On the one hand, we have a very strong defensive Spanish team with a not very convincing attack.
And on the other with a dubious motivation English team. Who can't play a match from Number 1.
All this in the first match of a rematch.
Definitely under 3 goals in this match is my choice for prediction.
Top facts and statistics for the match
- Sociedad have won their last 7 games: 3-4-0.
- Man Yun have not lost in their last 5 games: 1-4-0.
- In the past, the two clubs have faced each other twice in 2013. The Red Devils won the first leg at home before drawing the return leg in Spain.
- In their respective leagues, Real Sociedad went to win at Getafe in the Spanish La Liga and Manchester United went to draw in the English Premier League.
- Real Sociedad have won only 2 matches in their last 10 matches in the Europa League.
- Manchester United have lost once in their last 7 Europa League games.
Last 5 matches: REAL SOCIEDAD
|14.02.21||LL||Getafe||Real Sociedad||0: 1||W|
|07.02.21||* LL||Real Sociedad||Cadiz CF||4:1||W|
|26.01.21||* CDR||Betis||Real Sociedad||3:1 (1:1)|
|23.01.21||* LL||Real Sociedad||Betis||2:2||D|
Last 5 matches: MANCHESTER UTD
|14.02.21||PL||West Brom||Manchester Utd||1:1||D|
|09.02.21||FAC||Manchester Utd||West Ham||1:0 (0:0)||W|
Head-to-head matches: REAL SOCIEDAD - MANCHESTER UTD
|05.11.13||CL||Real Sociedad Manchester Utd 0:0|
|23.10.13||CL||Manchester Utd Real Sociedad 1:0|
Our Prediction Real Sociedad - Manchester United FC
Reversed after his 3rd place in the Champions League, Manchester United returns to the Europa League (6 months after their semi-final lost against Sevilla FC) and is one of the favorites for the final victory. The Red Devils will have to do a good result before the return leg at home on February 25. For our prediction, we are betting on a victory for Manchester United.