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What Man United Need Against Real Sociedad To Top The Europa League

In a game that is a direct shootout for the crucial top spot in Group E of the Europa League, Manchester United will travel to Spain to take on Real Sociedad on Thursday.

The Red Devils started the Europa League as one of the favorites to win the trophy in Budapest in May, despite the fact that they were eliminated from the Champions League after a poor season last time around.

A contentious penalty cost Erik ten Hag’s team their opening group encounter against Thursday’s opponents at Old Trafford, but they bounced back to win their next four games, defeating Sheriff and Omonia Nicosia both at home and away, setting up a pivotal matchup with Real Sociedad on the final day.

For United to win and finish first in their group, they must win this game.

 

How Does The Current Group Table Look With Just One Game Left To Play?

With 12 points after five games, United is two points behind Real Sociedad, who has a perfect record, and three points behind the group’s leader.

Both teams have advanced to the next round of play, but the other two teams in the group, Sheriff Tiraspol and Omonia Nicosia, were eliminated from the Europa League.

Real has a goal difference of +9 compared to United’s +6, which is also better.

If Sheriff defeats Omonia at home on Thursday, they will stay in the Europa Conference League and continue to compete. If they lose, they will be demoted.

 

What Is Required For Manchester United To Win The Group?

Ten Hag’s team needs a victory in Spain that is at least two goals clear.

If Manchester United defeats Real Sociedad, the two teams will tie for the lead with 15 points. Final standings are determined based on head-to-head records between the two teams under the tie-break regulations for the Europa League.

United needs to outperform the La Liga team’s 1-0 victory at Old Trafford in order to pass Real and take the top spot in Spain.

If United wins by a score of 2-1, 3-2, or even 4-3, the clubs will be even on goal differential in their head-to-head record, but the Spanish team will win the title due to their superior goal differential throughout the course of the six games.

Real Sociedad’s and United’s two away goals are not taken into account.

United would take first place in the group if they won by two goals or more and had a better record in their two meetings with Sociedad.

Real are in control because they can avoid a loss or lose by one goal and still advance as group champions.

 

Why Is Finishing At The Top Of The Group Table So Crucial?

The teams that placed second advance to the last 32, where they will effectively play off against a team that is exiting the Champions League, while the group winners advance through to the last 16.

A fairer path to the championship, in theory, results from winning the top slot.

 

If Manchester United Doesn’t Take First Place In The Group, Who They Might Face?

Eight teams from the Europa League who place second in their group are seeded and paired with a team from the Champions League in the play-off round.

The teams they might play if they place second include Barcelona, Juventus, Ajax, Sevilla, Shakhtar Donetsk, and Atletico Madrid.

When the Champions League group stage concludes on Wednesday, their precise list of potential opponents will be available.

 

What Happens If Man United Finish At The Top?

United will advance directly to the round of 16 if they win the group.

They will be seeded there, and the second leg will be played at home, against any of the eight play-off winners.

By winning their respective groups, Real Betis, Union Saint-Gilloise of Belgium, Ferencvaros, and Freiburg are the clubs that have thus far secured a spot in the round of 16.

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