Manchester United have been drawn against Real Sociedad in the Europa League.

The matches will be played in February, with United dropping down into the competition after exiting the Champions League

Positives: Eliminate a rival

This is a tough tie against a dark horse to go on and win the competition.

It is a chance for United to knock out a competitor who like last year’s winners Sevilla, have the potential to end our silverware hopes.

United will have to take these games seriously and a win could build up some real momentum for the later rounds.

Real Sociedad v HNK Rijeka: Group F - UEFA Europa League
(Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Negatives: Good chance of early KO

Sociedad were the toughest team United could possibly have drawn from the unseeded group.

Currently they sit top of La Liga and boast winger Mikel Oyazarbal as the top scorer in Spain.

David Silva is also pulling the strings, while familiar face Adnan Januzaj could come back to haunt us.


As the Sevilla game showed last season, United do not have a good record against Spanish teams, also beaten by Sevilla and Barcelona in Champions League knockout ties.

This also has a feel of the Europa League elimination to Athletic Bilbao back in 2012.

United’s Europa League campaign is at risk of ending before it has really got started.

Manchester United v Everton: Premier League 2
(Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Negatives: Young player chances less likely

United needed to face a team like Royal Antwerp, Slavia Prague or Molde, who Solskjaer could have rotated a lot more against.

Young players like Facundo Pellistri and Teden Mengi might have fancied a chance of starting.

It’s still possible, but it seems far less likely now. United will have to take Sociedad very seriously and field a strong side.

It might not be quite full strength, but it will be close to it. Amad Diallo could perhaps be United’s wildcard.

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