David De Gea.

Real Sociedad v United: Who will start in Turin?

Thursday 18 February 2021 14:53

Manchester United’s Europa League last-32 match against Real Sociedad kicks off at the earlier time of 17:55 GMT and, as such, line-ups for the European encounter will be out at 16:55.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has taken a 22-man travelling squad to Turin and has plenty of options to choose from, although he is without injured trio Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek and Edinson Cavani.

After dropping out of the Champions League, it will be fascinating to see how the manager approaches the Europa League and what could be the first of nine matches in the competition. 

Solskjaer’s quandary only adds to the challenge faced by players of our United Predictions game, which asks fans to guess our starting XI and formation for each match. Here are five big questions to consider before choosing your team for the Allianz Stadium…

Ole has repeatedly spoken about his determination for this young and improving United team to win a trophy, which is why he has always treated the cup competitions with the upmost respect, yet this is no ordinary campaign.

The schedule is relentless and there remains an outside chance of challenging for the Premier League title, so perhaps the boss will make changes with Sunday’s home game against Newcastle in mind. Naturally, your answer to this question will define your entire XI, so think carefully.

Our no.1 started five of the six Champions League group games, barring the away trip to Istanbul Basaksehir when Henderson made his European debut. Dean has been picked in domestic cup competitions, however, making seven appearances, so perhaps he will get the nod this evening?

Speaking to us ahead of kick-off in Italy, Henderson told us: “I’ve just got to keep ticking along, keep doing well and my best is yet to come. I’ll keep waiting for those opportunities to come and hopefully I can build a bit of momentum and show my best form.”
Henderson: A trophy is overdue Video

Henderson: A trophy is overdue

The Europa League might not be the Champions League, but Dean Henderson says United will be going all out to win it...

Before our FA Cup tie with West Ham earlier this month, Ole admitted he “thinks about” resting Harry Maguire, who has played 35 of our 37 games so far this season, and featured in 55 from 61 last term. Could tonight be an opportunity?
Eric Bailly has not played for just shy of a month, while Axel Tuanzebe has made appearances in five of our six European matches so far in 2020/21.
Edinson Cavani has not travelled to Piedmont, so could Anthony Martial spearhead our forward line from a central position? Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford are other potential options, of course, which could in turn free up spaces on the flanks for Daniel James and Juan Mata, for example.
Or maybe one or two of the youth starlets that have just recently been promoted to the first-team bubble could step in to bolster the attack…
Watch every Europa League goal from '20/21 Video

Watch every Europa League goal from '20/21

Get in the mood for our match with Real Sociedad by enjoying all 25 of our Europa strikes from last term...

The players, in question, are January signing Amad – who made his Champions League debut with Atalanta in December – and 17-year-old Shola Shoretire, who signed his first professional contract with the club earlier this month.

Solskjaer has said both are on the trip for the “impact” they can make, so it will be interesting to see if either of them is granted a starting berth, or makes it on from the substitutes’ bench. Both have been in great form for the Under-23s, and Shoretire could break a club record if he manages to get on for his United debut.

Get ready for Real Sociedad v United: