Real Sociedad vs Manchester United Betting Preview & Tips


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

Real Sociedad vs Manchester United | Thursday 18th February 2021, 17:55 | BT Sport

The side from the Basque Country lock horns with the Red Devils in Turin and it’s an enticing one.

Thursday night football is not what Manchester United had in mind when drawing out their plans for this season. But disappointing results in the Champions League group stage against RB Leipzig, Istanbul Basaksehir and PSG meant that the Red Devils have dropped into the Europa League and will be hoping they can win the competition for the second time in four years.

Real Sociedad got off to an exceptional start domestically and looked as though they would have a say in the title race. But those claims have somewhat dissipated and their inconsistent form coincided with the injuries of key men Mikel Oyarzabal and David Silva.

The Erreala have started to pick up some crucial wins just in time for this clash and the aforementioned Oyarzabal and Silva are both available here.

Key stats

Real Sociedad:

  • Commit on average 10.3 fouls per game when playing at home in the UEL this season.
  • Receive on average 11 fouls per game when playing at home in the UEL this season.
  • Saw 2+ cards in 0/3 of their three home group games in this competition.
  • In those games, the opposition saw 2+ cards on 3/3 occasions.
  • A first-half card was shown in all three of those games.
  • Averaged 23 shots per game when playing at home in the group stages of this

Team news:

  • Previously ruled out of both legs, Mikel Oyarzabal made an extremely quick recovery and played against Getafe at the weekend in a massive boost for the Spanish side.
  • Former Manchester United academy graduate Adnan Januzaj will face his former side. United will also be all too familiar with Manchester City legend David Silva.
  • Off the back of his man of the match display at the weekend, ex-Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi will hope to continue here, after recently recovering from a long-term injury.
  • 21-year-old Alexander Isak has scored in five straight league matches.

Manchester United:

  • Committed on average 10 fouls per game when playing away in the UCL group stages.
  • Received on average 11.3 fouls per game when playing away in the UCL group stages.
  • Saw 2+ cards in 2/3 of their three away UCL group games.
  • In those games, the opposition saw 2+ cards on 2/3 occasions.
  • A first-half card was shown in all three of those games.

Team news:

  • Edinson Cavani and Donny van de Beek have been ruled out of Thursday's game with muscle injuries, joining Paul Pogba and Phil Jones on the sidelines.
  • Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay will require late fitness tests to determine whether they can be involved in Turin on Thursday.
  • Dean Henderson and Eric Bailly will certainly return to the fold here. Alex Telles will hope to start as well. Other fringe players like Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic will hope to be involved.
  • Youngsters Amad Diallo and Shola Shoretire are travelling to Turin with the first-team squad.

Referee: Sandro Schärer

  • Averaging exactly three yellow cards per game in the Europa League this season after awarding six yellows in two games.
  • Both teams have seen at least a card each in 19 of his last 20 games officiated.


I’m staying clear of the cards market in this one, simply because it’s a neutral venue and the teams and the ref are quite inconsistent for bookings.

My first pick is for youngster Alexander Isak to see 2+ shots on target. In his last five games where he has played 4 minutes or more, this bet has landed in three of them and against this United defence, I fancy him to test the United keeper.

Isak has scored nine goals in 15 appearances this season and averages nearly 2.5 shots per game. In his last five games of 45 minutes or more, his shot count has been – 4, 3, 4, 5, 2 with at least one shot on target in all of them.

Despite this being a neutral venue, I think Real Sociedad know the importance of making it count before United get actual home advantage.

For my second and third pick, I’m dipping into the shots markets. Real Sociedad were averaging a colossal 23 shots per game when at home during the group stages. As I previously touched on, this game is being played in Turin at a neutral venue due to travel restrictions.

The side from the Basque country are welcoming back their key players who can cause even the best teams problems and I think that they throw caution to the wind and look to make a statement by scoring a few past United before Solskjaers men are able to play at their actual home in the second leg.

In Real Sociedad’s home group games, they saw 27, 28 and 14 shots. This United side’s defence has been questionable this season​ (have conceded more goals than any other current top five EPL side) ​and the Spanish outfit has the tools to cause them a plethora of problems.

I think 12 shots at 6/5 ​(2.2)​ on Bet365 is overpriced – I’d personally have it closer to 10/11 (1.91).

As for the 17 shots being 11/1, that’s a ridiculous price, given Sociedad shoot at any given opportunity, whether that be from set-pieces, through balls or an effort from outside of the box.

I’d have it closer to 8/1 given Manchester United will pose a tougher test on neutral territory.

Best Bets

Real Sociedad vs Manchester United – Alexander Isak 2+ Shots on Target (13/8 Betfair)

Real Sociedad vs Manchester United – Real Sociedad 12+ Shots (6/5 Bet365)

Real Sociedad vs Manchester United – Real Sociedad 17+ Shots (11/1 Betfair)

About Author

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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