Donny: We'll need everything against Real Sociedad
Donny van de Beek says Manchester United will "have to give everything" to take all three points from Thursday's match with Real Sociedad.
The Dutchman missed Sunday's 3-1 Premier League win over Arsenal, but will hope to be involved when our Europa League campaign gets under way against the club from San Sebastian.
Van de Beek has plenty of experience competing against Spanish opposition and, having watched La Real in recent weeks, the midfielder expects a tricky 90 minutes at Old Trafford.
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“There are really good teams in La Liga,” acknowledges the 25-year-old. “I saw Real Sociedad play a few times and they are technical and really good. They are all technically very good, like all Spanish teams.
“It’s a tough opponent, and we have to play good to get the result. But we need to focus on ourselves to be in top shape and to be in good form. I saw their game against Barcelona recently – at the end they conceded a few goals – but, before that, they played good football.
“It will be a tough game and we have to give everything. David Silva, for example, is a really good player. They lost [Alexander] Isak, who was a good striker. I played against him in the Netherlands before, when he played there [for Willem II]. But they have a few more other good players.”
Erik ten Hag is widely expected to make a few changes to the Reds' XI, after four league games in which he has kept a very consistent starting line-up. With matches set to come thick and fast before the mid-season World Cup, van de Beek feels it's an exciting period of the season.
“I think it’s great to play many games,” he smiles. “I love it when we play after a few days [another] game. I prefer more to have games than training sessions, so definitely I like it!
“That will help everyone. Having lots of options will keep everyone sharp and, for this, we need lots of good players.”
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After Thursday's match with Real Sociedad, our next Group E fixture will take us to Moldova, where we'll face new opponents Sheriff Tiraspol in Chisinau.
It's a step into the unknown for United and Donny, but the Netherlands international is looking forward to broadening his horizons.
“It’s always good for your experience to be there [in a different country] and see how everything is,” he says.
“Sheriff, I saw them play last season in the [Champions League] pool with Real Madrid. I watched a bit of them, and I didn’t know them so well as Real Sociedad. But I’m excited to go there and see how football is there.”
To read the full interview with Donny, order the Real Sociedad issue of United Review here.