Manchester United's Champions League dreams may be over for this season, but they still have a chance at continental glory with their participation in the Europa League. After being eliminated in the UCL in the group stage, they enter the Europa League round of 32 on Thursday with the first leg against Real Sociedad of Spain. Both teams are viewed as contenders in the competition, and this game will be play in Italy due to travel restrictions in Spain.
Here's how you can watch the match and what to know:
- Date: Thursday, Feb. 18
- Time: 12:55 p.m. ET
- Location: Allianz Stadium -- Turin, Italy
- TV and Live stream: CBS All Access
- Odds: Real Sociedad +220; Draw +250; Man. United +115 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
Real Sociedad: The hosts have been solid in La Liga, giving up multiple goals only once since late December, but where United could be in trouble is with Sociedad's attack. With speedsters Mikel Oyarzabal and Alexander Isak, United must not hold a high line, have extra cover defensively in the middle, and the fullbacks would be wise to not get too far forward. Sociedad can do damage down the wings, but they also possess the technical quality to make something happen inside the box without much space.
Man. United: Since the attack went off with 12 goals in two games, they've gone two games failing to score multiple goals, capped off with a horrible 1-1 draw at struggling West Bom. Against Real Sociedad, they face a defense that is physical, presses well and won't give them much. A moment of magic from a set piece, or a lovely run on the counter may be the key to getting an advantage from the first leg.
United get an early goal, but a defensive error costs them as the team's finish squared. Pick: Real Sociedad 1, Manchester United 1