Harry Maguire.

Early team news for Real Sociedad v United

Tuesday 01 November 2022 14:00

Manchester United know the mission on Thursday - beat Real Sociedad by at least two clear goals in order to top Group E of the Europa League.

The Reds were beaten 1-0 by the San Sebastian side at Old Trafford in our opening fixture of the competition and both teams have won every game since to set up the 17:45 GMT decider.

Erik ten Hag is hoping to have a number of options for the tie and could be boosted by the possible availability of Anthony Martial, after the striker returned to team training this week.

Harry Maguire returned to the starting XI as captain in the 1-0 victory over West Ham United, after appearing for the second half of the win against Sheriff Tiraspol last week. The England international partnered Lisandro Martinez, with Raphael Varane ruled out of our remaining games this month.

Another centre-back, Victor Lindelof, was ill at the weekend, while winger Antony was missing with a knock, but Ten Hag hopes both can be on the flight to Spain.

"I think they will recover but I can't tell you any more," said the boss on Sunday. "We have to see what develops in the coming days and how they progress but I hope, when we go to Spain, everyone is on board. We need them all. There are still four games to go in a short period. You see it's tough for all teams, but also for us, we need 11 players and we need the squad to cover everything."

Anthony Elanga was handed a start on the right wing last time out, with Cristiano Ronaldo down the middle and goalscorer Marcus Rashford on the left.

Bruno Fernandes's suspension is a Premier League one, meaning he cannot face Aston Villa on Sunday after accumulating five yellow cards in the division this term.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been sidelined and Tom Heaton was not in the matchday squad against the Hammers, with Nathan Bishop promoted to the bench.


Japan international Takefusa Kubo is ruled out with a dislocated shoulder but right-back Alex Sola is tipped to recover from injury in time to play.

The hosts are dealing with some absentees, and have lost successive games in La Liga to Real Valladolid and Real Betis, despite performing pretty well. Former Manchester City favourite David Silva is one of those expected to miss out, along with Ander Barrenetxea, Momo Cho, Aihen Munoz, Mikel Oyarzabal and Umar Sadiq.

Midfielder Mikel Merino commented to Marca: "I'm sure there will be a great atmosphere and we want to show the best version of ourselves to be able to score or win against one of the best teams in the world. It seems incredible that, with 15 points, we are not classified as finishing first in the group."