Football

Manchester United face tough Real Sociedad test in Europa League

Manchester United will face La Liga leaders Real Sociedad in the last 32 of the Europa League following yesterday's draw in Nyon, after they were dumped out of the Champions League last week.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men dropped to the Europa League, which they won in 2017, after RB Leipzig knocked them out of Europe's top club competition at the group stage.

But Sociedad represent one of the toughest obstacles of the first knockout round.

They reclaimed top spot in La Liga last Sunday and made it out of the Europa League group stage thanks to a dramatic late draw at Napoli, combined with AZ Alkmaar's last-gasp defeat at Rijeka.

Former Tottenham Hotspur and England manager Glenn Hoddle, speaking to BT Sport about United's hopes against Sociedad, said: "If the game was tomorrow, I'd be worried about it. I really would."

Fellow BT Sport pundit Steve McManaman believes the London sides, Arsenal and Spurs, will go through to the last 16.

Arsenal have a tricky tie with Benfica after topping their group with six wins from six, while Spurs and Leicester City will face Wolfsberger and Slavia Prague respectively.

"You'd think that on the day, Arsenal should beat them," McManaman told BT Sport.

"Good teams are going to exit in this round. Tottenham are going to think, 'This is looking good for us'.

"They've got a good chance of going very far." - AFP

EUROPA LEAGUE ROUND OF 32*

  • Wolfsberger v Tottenham Hotspur
  • Real Sociedad v Manchester United
  • Benfica v Arsenal
  • Red Star Belgrade v AC Milan
  • Slavia Prague v Leicester City

*Selected games.

First legs to be played on Feb 18.

Second legs to be played on Feb 25.

Football