United Briefing: The view from Real Sociedad
Real Sociedad manager Imanol Alguacil has given his thoughts on Manchester United ahead of our Europa League last-32 first-leg meeting on Thursday.
This is the second season in a row that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have faced a Spanish opponent in the competition and the Reds will be hoping for a better outcome on this occasion.
United were eliminated in the semi-finals of the tournament last season by Sevilla, meaning we haven’t won any of our last nine games against La Liga clubs.
Despite that, La Real's boss downplayed our recent record ahead of the clash.
“It was probably a very different Man United when they were knocked out by these Spanish teams in the past,” Alguacil said during Wednesday’s press conference.
“We are seeing a very different Man United now. Much more powerful, much more competitive. We’ll have to see. It’s a different team altogether.
“I’d rather go through the games with my staff and prepare the way we always do. We are aware of the huge potential that Man United have and we’ll see how we’ll deal with that.”
While the Reds have less-than-desirable recent form against Spanish sides, our results in Turin have been much more impressive.
United have won the last three games away against Juventus, with the last of those being played at the Allianz Stadium, where Thursday’s clash will be held due to the Spanish government’s current restrictions on travelling from the UK.
That means Real Sociedad’s home leg won’t be played at their own ground, although Alguacil wasn’t putting too much emphasis on this ahead of the game.
“Well, we could say it could be a very little advantage,” he told reporters. “I understand Solskjaer and I probably would have said the same in his place. But I don’t want any excuses. It’s just one more challenge to us.
“It is true that common sense would dictate that both games should perhaps be played in a neutral stadium,” he continued. “But we need to face it. We need to dance to the music, so we’ll have no excuses. We’ll come to the game tomorrow with excitement and with ambition.”
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY?
Our clash with Real Sociedad kicks off at 17:55 GMT and can be watched live in the UK via BT Sport, while MUTV is the only place to watch the pre and post-match coverage.
Also, don’t forget to keep checking ManUtd.com and the Official App for all the build-up to the game, including Ole’s exclusive interview with club media, while two legendary forwards will be discussing Mason Greenwood’s development.
WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?
Ole and Mason held their pre-match press conference ahead of jetting out to Italy later in the afternoon.
Former Red Adnan Januzaj also spoke before the game and revealed he still keeps tabs on the latest news at the club.
Elsewhere, there was an update about the Premier League’s TV coverage for upcoming games, while Marcus Rashford was named in the '2021 TIME100 Next List'.