Madrid, Nov 4: Despite little chance of surviving the Champions League group stage, Real Sociedad have promised to make their fans proud when they entertain Manchester United at home Tuesday.
Football was made for nights like Tuesday and the Anoeta Stadium will be packed to the rafters for the visit of the historic English side, who will be making their second visit to the Basque country in two years after being knocked out of the Europa league by Athletic Club Bilbao in the 2011-12 season, reports Xinhua.
Real Sociedad are bottom of their qualifying group with three defeats from their three Champions League matches and although mathematically they could still make the next round, the reality is they have a slim chance and should turn their attentions to trying to finish third in the group for the consolation prize of a place in the last 32 of the Europa League.
The Basques have not been lucky so far in Europe, being undone by inexperience against Shakhtar Donetsk in their opening match, while losing to a last minute free kick in Leverkusen and a first minute own goal in Old Trafford a fortnight ago.
That narrow 0-1 defeat should give ‘la Real’ confidence as they reacted well in the second half after a nervous opening quarter and could have taken a point from the game with better luck in front of goal.
The display has also been a catalyst for an upturn in form in the BBVA Primera Liga and the team coached by Jagoba Arrasate have taken 10 points from their last four league games, including a 5-0 thrashing of Osasuna Saturday night.
The fact the first three goals came thanks to set pieces showed how effective Real can be in the air and also highlighted how midfielder Ruben Pardo has matured this season in the wake of the departure of Aiser Illaramendi to Real Madrid.
Antoine Griezmann is in a fine run of form having scored six goals in the last four league games and his skill and confidence on the left wing is something Manchester United will have to be aware of, along with the poise of Xabi Prieto and the guile of Carlos Vela, who is anxious to show he has what it takes to perform against English sides after a disappointing spell in the Premier league.
Manchester United have struggled under new coach David Moyes, but won 3-1 away to Fulham Saturday to hint that they are finally adjusting to life without the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson and they know that a win will probably seal their place in the last 16.
Wayne Rooney will lead the United attack, but as Griezmann warns, Real Sociedad are looking to give their fans something to cheer about and “we know we can beat anyone in Anoeta.”
With a wet and windy night forecast for the area Tuesday night, everything points to it being a game on an epic scale between two sides who will hold nothing back.