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soccer | Real Sociedad x Manchester United - Nov 03 | 17:45 UTC


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Game info Real Sociedad x Manchester United 


The first place in the Europa League group E will be at stake this Thursday, November 3, in the match between Real Sociedad and Manchester United. The clash, which is part of the sixth–final – round of the group stage of the 2022/2023 edition of the Europa League, will take place against the Reale Arena in San Sebastián. Kick-off is scheduled for 17:45 UTC.


How does the Europa League 2022/2023 work?


The competition's regulations, which have been downsized since the last edition thanks to the creation of the European Conference League, were maintained. With 32 participants, the Europa League has eight groups in its first stage. Each of them has four teams facing each other in a round-trip system. At the end of six rounds, the first two are still in contention for the title.


However, the champion of each bracket advances directly to the round of 16. Whoever is in second place goes to the round of 16 stages, in which they will face a 'relegated' club from the Champions League. The third place in each group will have the chance to continue in an international tournament in the second semester. It will be relegated to the European Conference League.


Real Sociedad

The fight for first place does not only determine the opponent of the next phase, as in the Champions League. In the Europa League, the value of finishing at the top of the leaderboard in the group stage is much higher. It allows you to advance directly to the round of 16, thus avoiding an early confrontation with a team that is 'relegated' from above. In addition to reducing the risk of elimination, this opens up two free dates in February. A gem on such a tight schedule.


For Real Sociedade to keep first place, a tie is enough. A defeat can also do. However, it is provided by a minimal margin. In this case, the teams would be level on points and head-to-head, as the Spaniards won 1-0 in the first-round match at Manchester United. They would take advantage of goal difference, which is the second tiebreaker.


On Sunday, October 30, however, Real Sociedad was defeated by Betis, another Spaniard who participates in the Europa League, by 2-0, a score that, if replicated this Thursday, would leave them in second place. The duel was worth the twelfth round of the Spanish Championship 2022/2023. It was his second consecutive defeat in the tournament. They had won 1-0 from Real Valladolid in the previous round. With 22 points (seven wins, one draw, and four defeats), Real Sociedad has dropped to fifth in the LaLiga leaderboard. Ten points below Real Madrid, the leader.


Manchester United

Manchester United are on their longest unbeaten streak of the season. On Sunday, October 30, when they beat West Ham 1-0 at Old Trafford for the fourteenth round of the 2022/2023 version of the English Championship, the series reached eight clashes. Starting on October 6, it has six wins and two draws, counting matches in the Europa League and Premier League.


Against West Ham, Manchester United had control of the ball for 53% of the time and was able to develop a more significant number of scoring opportunities (16 to 13). However, he showed problems with the quality of the finishes. The London team led the target shooting rate (5 to 3). Even so, who managed to make the net swing was Rashford, in the 38th minute of the first half, after receiving a pass from Eriksen.


This allowed the Manchester side to advance to 23 points (seven wins, two draws, and three defeats), taking fifth place in the Premier League table. It is the last post in the region that distributes places for participation in international competitions next season. It is eight points behind Arsenal, the leader, and two points above Chelsea, in sixth place and the first club outside the elite squad.

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