Manchester United vs Real Sociedad Betting Preview & Tips


CARDS specialist Chris Goodwin (@CGeorgeGamble) picks out his favourite fancies from Thursday night's Europa League showdown between Man Utd and Real Sociedad.

Manchester United vs Real Sociedad | Thursday 25th February 2021, 20:00 | BT Sport

Ole Gunnar Solkjaers side effectively completed the job in the first-leg as they ran out 4-0 winners which included a brace from talisman Bruno Fernandes.

It was somewhat of a mauling in Turin as The Red Devils put La Reales to the sword. At half-time, there was all to play for, but three second-half goals ensured that United would go into the second leg with a huge cushion.

They’re unbeaten in their last seven games in all competitions and will look to complete the job at Old Trafford without too much hassle.

It was an extremely disappointing result for the Basque side and they’ll be disappointed that they weren’t able to showcase the abilities that have made them one of the most exciting teams to watch currently in La Liga.

They did follow that defeat up with a 4-0 thumping themselves, at home to lowly Deportivo Alaves with Swedish sensation, Alexander Isak, bagging himself a hat-trick.

Both sides have games of massive importance this weekend in their respective leagues. Manchester United face top-four rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Meanwhile, Real Sociedad travels to the Capital as they take on Real Madrid.

Key stats

Manchester United:

  • Commit on average 17 fouls per game when playing at home in European competitions this season.
  • Receive on average 13 fouls per game when playing at home in European competitions this season.
  • Have seen 2+ cards in 2/3 home European games this season.
  • In those games, the opposition has seen 2+ cards on 3/3 occasions.

Team news:

  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed Donny van de Beek, Edison Cavani and Scott McTominay are still sidelined. It leaves his midfield depleted with Paul Pogba also missing.
  • The Manchester United head coach will certainly rotate after the 4-0 win in the first leg, particularly with Chelsea away on Sunday, but is restricted in some areas.
  • With Cavani potentially out of the Chelsea game, Solskjaer may not risk the likes of Marcus Rashford or Anthony Martial here, though the latter could do with a confidence boost.
  • Dean Henderson, Alex Telles, Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe, Brandon Williams and Juan Mata will almost certainly be considered for starts on Thursday. Tuanzebe could play right-back with Victor Lindelof and Bailly paired at centre-back together.

Real Sociedad:

  • Commit on average 11.5 fouls per game when playing away in European competitions this season.
  • Receive on average 11.5 fouls per game when playing away in European competitions this season.
  • Have seen 2+ cards in 1/3 away games in Europe this season.
  • In those games, the opposition has seen 2+ cards on 3/3 occasions.

Team news:

  • Star-man David Silva has been left out of the squad for this one.

Referee: Lawrence Visser​ ​(Belgium)

  • Averages 3.00 cards per game when officiating in elite club competitions this season.


My first pick is for Real Sociedad to score and for them to see 5+ corners in the game.

Imanol Alguacil’s men have scored in 15 of their last 17 away games in all competitions. Despite conceding four goals in the first leg without reply they still racked up 4 corners even though the tempo of the game had dissipated.

They’re not going to claw back such a deficit but I think they’ll at least want to make it a bit more respectable.

The Red Devils go into this one missing a number of key players and with the game this weekend against Chelsea looming, I think Solskjaer rings the changes here. He may start with a few of the big guns but I think he’ll be looking to wrap them in cotton wool ahead of the weekend.

As such, I’m expecting Sociedad to pose a bit more of a threat going forward in this leg. Youngster Alexander Isak has been in red hot form and scored a hat-trick against Deportivo Alaves on the weekend. He’ll get an opportunity to add to his breakout season by slotting at Old Trafford.

Real Sociedad are quite handy from set-piece situations and will look to win a few fouls in dangerous areas to capitalise on that. As such, I’m expecting the Spanish outfit to see at least five corners whilst getting on the scoresheet too.

My second pick is for Real Sociedad to win 10+ free kicks ​(offsides are included)​ and for there to be under 4 match cards.

La Reales are an attack-minded side and they win on average 11.5 fouls per game. Manchester United meanwhile are giving away 17 free-kicks on average this season in elite competitions and given that offsides are included and that referee Visser has awarded on average 30 free kicks per game in the Europa League, I think Sociedad will easily beat this line.

For this pick to land, we’d then need referee Visser to brandish fewer than four cards.

With the tie seemingly over before it begins, I’d be surprised to see any rash challenges going in. I personally think that if United score in the first-half or Sociedad manages to score just one goal, the game will lose a bit of intensity and they’ll just play out the minutes.

Of course, La Reales could provide a huge shock and make this into a game of the competition contender, but despite absentees, I just don’t see that happening here.

Best Bets

Manchester United vs Real Sociedad – Real Sociedad Scores 1+ Goal and Real Sociedad 5+ Corners (12/5 Betfair)

Manchester United vs Real Sociedad – Real Sociedad Over 9.5 Free Kicks and Under 4 Match Cards (7/10 Bet365)

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A story similar to many I'm sure, I started betting roughly 10 years ago when I turned 18, and mainly focused on outright results as I was sure, in my young mind, that I knew everything that’s possible about football. I did okay but then i wanted to improve that knowledge further and began looking into statistics, team news and current form. It was basic research initially, but this is when i discovered that i really enjoyed the process of doing my research, and potentially finding some crucial information that could help me to pick a solid bet.

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