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4-2-3-1: Man United will crush Real Sociedad with this dazzling line-up

Anthony Martial is back in training for Manchester United but is unlikely to start Thursday’s Europa League match against Real Sociedad.


Although he has not yet hit top form, we expect Cristiano Ronaldo to lead the line, with Marcus Rashford playing in an inverted left wing position next to him as was the case against West Ham.

Jadon Sancho has missed the last couple of games due to poor form and this game is too crucial to experiment with the effect it might have had on him, so we expect him to remain sidelined.

Antony missed the West Ham game with a minor injury but Erik ten Hag seemed confident it was “just a couple of days”, so he is expected to be fit in time.

If he doesn’t make it, the choices are Sancho, Anthony Elanga and Alejandro Garnacho.


Garnacho is the youngest and least experienced but of the three, he is in by far the best form.

Bruno Fernandes is almost certain to play in the number 10 position, especially as he will be absent on Sunday due to suspension.

In midfield we expect business as usual, with the excellent Casemiro – Christian Eriksen combo.

David de Gea, Diogo Dalot, Lisandro Martinez and Luke Shaw seem almost certain to continue in defence.

The question is, who will partner Martinez if Victor Lindelof has recovered from illness.

Lindelof had been excellent alongside the Argentinian but captain Harry Maguire returned to the side in his absence on Sunday and kept a clean sheet.

We think Lindelof should get the nod, as Maguire looked a little shaky and drifted out of position on a few occasions against West Ham.

With all that in mind, here is our predicted starting XI for the 5.45pm kick off in San Sebastian:



Anthony Martial returns to Manchester United team training after injury

Man United ace Anthony Martial has spent much of this season sidelined through injury but is back in team training.

Anthony Martial is closing in on a Manchester United return.

Martial is close to returning for United (Image: Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images.)
Manchester United have confirmed that striker Anthony Martial returned to first-team training at the club’s Carrington training complex on Monday.

The Frenchman, who has scored three goals this season, has missed United’s last six matches with a back injury. After earning his first start of the season, he was forced off less than half an hour into the Reds’ 2-1 win over Everton at Goodison Park earlier this month.


That setback marked a third injury of the season already for Martial, following hamstring and Achilles injuries earlier this term. He has played just four times in all competitions this season.

But despite his lack of availability, he has been excellent when fit, scoring three goals and recording two assists. His injury luck has haunted him and starved United of a player who has looked revitalised under Erik ten Hag’s management.

Ahead of Thursday’s crunch Europa League clash with Real Sociedad in Spain, Martial has started to train with the team again, offering hope that he is close to a return. Ten Hag will likely provide an update on his fitness when he conducts his pre-match press conference on Wednesday.


Issuing an update on Martial last week, Ten Hag said: “He’s making progress, he’s outside, he’s working there, he’s on the pitch and we’re waiting for his step back in team training. He had a setback as he fell out against Everton with his back. He’s had some injuries, it’s really frustrating for us but also for him. We’ve seen him play well in pre-season.

“He’s had less minutes but he’s scored already three goals. Against Everton, he had an important role with the first goal, his assist for Antony. It would be good to have him back because he can make the difference and score goals, but also linking up he’s really important and his pressing is really good.”


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