Real Sociedad vs. Manchester United – Europa League, February 18, 2021

| February 15, 2021 2:31 pm PDT

There are plenty of exciting Europa League matchups for us to get our teeth into this week, although Thursday’s clash between Real Sociedad and Manchester United is arguably the tie of the round.

The Spanish side appears to have recovered from a mid-season blip, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men will be eager to bounce back following a disappointing draw against West Brom last time out.

After checking out the bookmakers’ odds, I will provide my Real Sociedad vs. Manchester United prediction and betting pick.

Real Sociedad vs. Manchester United Odds

Real Sociedad to Win3.20
The Draw3.50
Manchester United to Win2.15

The top online betting sites view Manchester United (2.15) as the favorite to win the first leg, but the Red Devils are by no means clear frontrunners here.

Given that Real Sociedad (3.20) has the home advantage on Thursday, I wouldn’t be surprised if the big prices for the home win and the draw (3.50) generate a large amount of interest.

Real Sociedad vs. Manchester United Preview

There was a point earlier in the season when it looked as though Real Sociedad would be challenging for the La Liga title.

Imanol’s men only lost one of their opening 13 domestic matches this term, securing six straight victories in the process. But a three-game losing streak in late December saw the San Sebastian outfit fall by the wayside.

However, La Real has turned things around in recent weeks, losing just one of their previous seven league outings. A 4-1 win over Cadiz was followed by a hard-fought 0-1 victory against Getafe on Sunday, meaning the club now sits fifth in the La Liga standings.

Despite drawing their final three group matches earlier in the campaign, Sociedad scraped through to the Europa League knockout stages – finishing one point ahead of third-place AZ Alkmaar and two points behind Group F winner Napoli.

It could be argued that Imanol’s men are slightly fortunate to still be in the competition, but that doesn’t mean to say that they can’t give Manchester United a run for their money.

The Red Devils have only lost one of their previous 18 EPL games, with a 13-match unbeaten streak between November and January, keeping the club within touching distance of Manchester City at the summit of the Premier League standings.

But having picked up just six points from their last five matches, there is no denying that Solskjaer’s men have failed to maintain their early-season form of late.

A shock defeat to Sheffield United, along with draws against Arsenal, Everton, and West Brom, have exposed the team’s weaknesses, although the 9-0 thrashing of Southampton at the beginning of the month served as a timely reminder of what Man Utd is capable of.

Following defeats to Istanbul Basaksehir, PSG, and RB Leipzig, the English side ended up dropping out of the Champions League back in December. Still, there is a sense that Solskjaer’s men are better suited to the Europa League right now.

Man Utd is now among the bookmakers’ favorites to win the Europa League, but Sociedad certainly won’t make life easy for the visitors on Thursday.

Real Sociedad vs. Manchester United Prediction and Pick

Pick
  • The Draw
    3.50

With a second leg still to play next week, I can see both managers approaching the first leg with caution. Naturally, both sides will be eager to gain an advantage. But there is no need for either team to go all out for the win on Thursday.

With that in mind, I can see this match ending in a draw – and the price for the draw is very attractive here!

Ben Morris
Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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