Manchester United kick off their Europa League journey today with what could be a tough away test against Real Sociedad.
United crashed out of the Champions League group stages last year, but a third-placed finish in the table means they dropped into the Europa League round-of-32 – and the Red Devils are among the favourites to win the competition.
While success in the Europa League may not make up for their Champions League disappointment, winning the trophy would guarantee entry into Europe’s premier club competition next term – and that could be vital given the race for a Premier League top-four finish looks set to go to the wire this term.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is without the likes of Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani for the trip to Rome – with the fixture moved from Spain to Italy due to travel restrictions between Spain and the UK – though the United boss will still expect a strong performance despite some inconsistent form of late.
With kick-off at 5:55pm GMT, follow the action on our LIVE match blog.
Real Sociedad team news
Starting XI: Remiro, Zaldua, Elustondo, Zubeldia, Monreal, Silva, Illarramendi, Merino, Januzaj, Isak, Oyarzabal
Subs: Portu, Munoz, Guridi, Sagnan, Guevara, Merquelanz, Gorosabel, Barrenetxea, Le Normand, Bautista, Marrero, Zubimendi
So, Adnan Januzaj starts against his former club. The winger has a point to prove after struggling to fulfil his early promise, and United would do well to keep him quiet this evening.
United are in the building
Bruno Fernandes and Fred both start today in Rome – Solskjaer will want his side to do the business here to avoid a tricky second leg.
So, Marcus Rashford starts up front for United, with Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes and Dan James in support.
Scott McTominay is fit to partner Fred in midfield, while Alex Telles gets a chance with Luke Shaw rested. Eric Bailly returns from injury to play alongside Harry Maguire at the back, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the right.
Dean Henderson gets a cup start in goal, and youngsters Amad Diallo and Shola Shoretire have been included among the substitutes.
Man Utd team news confirmed
Starting XI: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Telles; McTominay, Fred; Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, James; Rashford
Subs: De Gea, Grant, Lindelof, Mata, Martial, Shaw, Amad, Matic, Williams, Tuanzebe, Shoretire
Kick-off is at 5:55pm GMT, but we usually get European team news through from around 4:30pm, so watch this space. United fans would love to see Amad Diallo handed his first start, though he may be more likely to come off the bench. Shola Shoretire has also travelled, and he could also be a surprise sub.
Latest betting odds and tips
Head to head (h2h) history and results
Sociedad vs Man Utd prediction: 1-0 away win
United have been in frustrating form of late, with last weekend’s draw at West Brom highlighting the fact that while they sit second, they still lack consistency. Still, Solskjaer will be looking at this tie as eminently winnable despite his injury problems.
How to watch on TV and online
TV channel: The match will be televised on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Ultimate.
Live stream: BT Sport subscribers will be able to watch the match online via the BT Sport website and app.
Man Utd team news and predicted lineup
Man United will be missing three players tonight. Summer signings Edinson Cavani and Donny van de Beek have muscle injuries, while manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed a thigh complaint will keep Paul Pogba out for the rest of February.
Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay have travelled to Italy for the last-32 first leg but face fitness tests on Thursday, while Juan Mata is involved after missing recent squads.
Meanwhile, teenagers Amad Diallo and Shola Shoretire are included. Neither player has yet to make their senior United debut.
Man Utd predicted lineup (4-2-3-1): Henderson; Williams, Bailly, Maguire, Telles; Matic, Fred; Greenwood, Fernandes, James; Rashford