Manchester United’s Europa League campaign begins tonight against Real Sociedad.
Sociedad boss Imanol Alguacil held a press conference before his side flew out to Italy for the fixture and spoke about United’s threats.
He picked out Bruno Fernandes as United’s key man, and admitted his side could have their work cut out if the Red Devils click.
The Sociedad boss told AS.com: “There is no doubt that there is a different player who is Bruno Fernandes. But we cannot stay with a single name, having Rashford, Cavani, they are all of such great potential and quality.
“Just putting the focus on Bruno, there is no way to stop Manchester if they have their day. What concerns me the most is my team and as long as we have done what we are capable of, we always compete and we are capable of winning.”
Cavani is unavailable and has not flown out for the first leg but he could be fit to feature in the second leg at Old Trafford in a week’s time.
Fernandes has 30 goal contributions already this season, with 19 goals and 11 assists, so it is understandable Sociedad are wary of the threat he will post.
Alguacil said his main hope is to head to Old Trafford still in the tie, hopefully with an advantage to cling onto.
He said: “I think it’s going to be about goals. And let’s hope it stays alive for us in Turin, it would be a good sign, but with some advantage for us, of course.”
Can United catch Sociedad off guard?
It’s understandable to hear Sociedad preparing for Fernandes and Rashford. They will have done plenty of research on United’s attacking options.
The one they cannot really plan for is Amad Diallo. Could the young winger go into the starting line-up and rip up the Spanish side’s game plan?
With Cavani out, and Martial ‘doubtful’, there could be a spot available in United’s front three.
Juan Mata and Dan James are safer options. Diallo is United’s wildcard, who could relish an unexpected chance to play in Italy again and make his first start in a Red Devils shirt.
Diallo is exciting and unpredictable and he is the ace up United’s sleeve who could undo all of Sociedad’s careful planning.
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