Man United’s first Europa League match comes against Real Sociedad on Thursday night, and this is how they should line up.
Manchester United return to action on Thursday night, hosting Real Sociedad in their first Europa League match.
Erik ten Hag’s side are coming off four straight victories and will be looking to keep the momentum continuing against the La Liga side at Old Trafford. Sociedad has never won in Europe against English opponents (D2 L4), scoring only once in six encounters. They did, however, avoid loss in their most recent match, a goalless draw versus United at Old Trafford in February 2021.
In terms of early team news, Cristiano Ronaldo and Casemiro are anticipated to start, although Anthony Martial remains injured. The following is how the MEN writers believe United should line up:
Tom Heaton is more deserving of a start — and second place — than Martin Dubravka. Heaton is yet to make his complete United debut, and after being sold as a puppy by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, he deserves more minutes this season.
United could use some spine consistency, and Lisandro Martinez is not as vulnerable as Raphael Varane. With Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw returning, Victor Lindelof might fill in at right back.
Casemiro and Fred are a midfield axis with Premier League potential, and United has the luxury of fielding two Brazilian starts. Antony needs more playing time, Jadon Sancho should be fresh after his early exit on Sunday, and Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo have match-winning ability.