Experienced United To Ease Past Sociedad
Manchester United go into their double-header against Real Sociedad knowing six points would secure their place in the knockout phase of the Champions League.
United will be content with their work so far in the competition. They beat Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 on home soil before leaving Shakhtar Donetsk with a well-earned point. The three previous English clubs left with nothing.
David Moyes’s side are top of Group A and that is where they should remain. The three sides in the group represent modest opposition, although United will be mindful of two years ago, when they failed to qualify from a group containing Benfica, FC Basel and Otelul Galati.
Lightning is unlikely to strike twice. The Red Devils were solid and disciplined in Ukraine, a different side to the one that has looked fragile in the Premier League. They appear motivated by last season’s controversial exit at the hands of Real Madrid in the last 16. BetVictor has United at 16/1 to lift the trophy in May.
United’s next opponents have yet to make an impact in Europe and have also struggled domestically. Sociedad are 15th in La Liga, having won just one of eight games, and have lost both of their Champions League matches. Like most sides, they will raise their game at Old Trafford but are unlikely to leave Manchester with any points, particularly so soon after West Brom’s shock win there.
United have responded positively to that setback and will be determined not to let it happen again. Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney will strike fear into the Sociedad defenders, while Nemanja Vidic showed how good he is at marshalling a backline in Donetsk and will not give the visitors an inch.
It is difficult to write off a side that plays in arguably the best league in the world but an experienced United outfit should win comfortably at home before heading to Spain, where they could qualify with two games to spare.