First Team News Preview

MATCH PREVIEW: Real Sociedad vs Manchester United

Real Sociedad vs Manchester United

UEFA Champions League – Tuesday 5th November, 2013 (19:45 KO BST) – Anoeta Stadium (32, 076)

Anoeta Stadium - Sociedad

The Teams

Real Sociedad

Manager Jagoba Arrasate on facing United: It will be beautiful and special but our goal is the points.”

  • Have lost all three Group A fixtures thus far, scoring just one goal.

  • Defeat will see ‘La Real’ eliminated from this season’s competition.

  • If we get at our best we can win. We want to make a great game and show that we can beat them… Manchester United are a very strong but we hope to compete and win,” Arrasate said ahead of United’s visit.

  • La Real come into the game on the back of a morale-boosting 5-0 win over Osasuna at the weekend.

  • Captain Xabi Prieto was rested for the game and should come back into the side.

  • Elsewhere, Daniel Estrada, Esteban Granero and Diego Ifran all miss out through injury.

  • Eight of the squad have started all three Group A matches.

Predicted line-up: Bravo, De La Bella, Martinez, Gonzalez, Martinez, Zurutuza, Pardo, Prieto, Castro, Griezmann, Seferovic

Group A record: P3 W0 D0 L3 F1 A5 Pts0

United 1-0 Sociedad


David Moyes ahead of the game: I won’t take anything for granted. I have a lot of respect for Sociedad. We have to play well if we’re going to get those 10 points, which will get us over the line. We’ve got ourselves into a good position in the group and we have to try to maintain that.”

  • Jonny Evans (back) and Rafael (ankle), substituted at half-time against Fulham on Saturday, have remained in Manchester.

  • We haven’t had a lot of injuries. But we did pick up three on Saturday, which is very rare – especially by half-time,” David Moyes said at Monday’s press conference.

  • The third injured player being Tom Cleverley, who was withdrawn suffering from double vision.

  • The midfielder trained with the squad on Monday, however, and travels to Spain.

  • Michael Carrick, who missed the win over Fulham, also sat out the final training session and did not travel.

  • Patrice Evra, who picked up a knock at Craven Cottage, trained and travels with the squad.

  • David de Gea has played at Sociedad’s Anoeta Stadium before – during his time at Atletico Madrid – and should start on Tuesday.

  • We know that if we get the three points we’ll have one foot in the knockout rounds,” the Spanish stopper said.

  • David Moyes hinted at the use of experience for the game in Spain.

  • I think our experienced players have shown they’re used to the Champions League and that’s shown in the games. I hope that continues.”

  • With seven points from the opening three games, a further three points would all-but see United through to the knockout stages.

  • Moyes: “We are playing better and getting good results. Long may that continue.”

Predicted line-up: De Gea, Jones, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Fellaini, Giggs, Valencia, Kagawa, Rooney, van Persie

Group A record: P3 W2 D1 L0 F6 A3 Pts7

Manchester United v Sociedad

Recent meeting

United 1-0 Real Sociedad (23-10-13)


Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)

The 41-year-old official has taken charge of one UEFA Champions League fixture this season, showing three yellow cards. Oversaw United’s 3-2 win over Bayern Munich in the quarter-final 2nd leg of 2009, sending off Rafael as United went out on away goals.

Assistants: Renato Faverani (ITA), Andrea Stefani (ITA)

Fourth Official: Lorenzo Manganelli (ITA)



Should he feature, Ryan Giggs will make his 950th appearance for Manchester United.

Since the first meeting of the two sides, Antoine Griezmann has scored five goals in three games.

United have not won away in Europe since a victory at SC Braga on 7 November last year.

Sociedad are looking to avoid setting a club-record sequence of four straight defeats in Europe.

United’s overall record away to La Liga clubs is W2 D9 L10.

Score prediction: Real Sociedad 1-2 United

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By Jack Holt

Once got told off by Steve Bruce.

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