Man Utd start their UEL season against Sociedad, Arsenal face Zurich

(Football news) Fresh from winning against Arsenal, Manchester United begin their Europa League campaign in Group E versus a dangerous Real Sociedad side at Old Trafford on. While £85.4m signing Antony did display his talent, the silky Brazilian also demonstrated his proficiency in front of goal to help the Red Devils continue their winning streak. Having now recovered from their abysmal start under Erik ten Hag, Man United enter the first matchday of the Europa League, having won 4 matches in a row, beating the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool at Old Trafford. Going into the match, Manchester United will start off as clear favourites.

Man United will now aim to continue their winning streak and hopefully make it out of the group stage in the Europa League. They have gone as far as the semi-finals in each of their last three appearances in the Europa League but Villarreal won the title at the expense of the Red Devils in 2021. Last season's United’s European adventure ended against Atletico Madrid in the last-16 of the Champions League. The 2022-23 season also marks Sociedad's third successive appearance in the Europa League group stage as they successfully made it through to the knockout rounds in 2020-21 and 2021-22, but were beaten in the last-32 stage to RB Leipzig last year. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also led the Red Devils to a 4-0 win at the Allianz Stadium before a second-leg goalless draw at Old Trafford last time they faced each other

Manchester United possible starting lineup:

Dubravka; Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; Casemiro, Fred; Antony, Fernandes, Elanga; Ronaldo

Real Sociedad possible starting lineup:

Remiro; Gorosabel, Zubeldia, Elustondo, Munoz; Mendez, Zubimendi, Merino; Silva; Sadiq, Sorloth

Arsenal's quest for Europa League glory kicks off against Swiss champions FC Zurich in Group A at Kybun Park. Unlike their opponents, Zurich had a taste of Champions League football in the 2022-23 season, but Franco Foda was unable to guide his side past Qarabag in the second qualifying round as they fell to a disappointing 5-4 aggregate loss. From being regarded as favourites for the fourth and qualifying for the Champions League and even being touted as dark horses for third,it is another stint in the Europa League as Arsenal sure were handed a harsh reality check at the end of the 2021-22 season.

A fifth season in the second tier of European football now awaits the North London club, who lost the final in 2019 and were losing semi-finalists in 2018 and 2021. The most surprising exit was when they got eliminated in last-32 to Olympiacos in 2020. Thursday's marks the first competitive meeting between Arsenal and Zurich, but the Gunners go into the clash full of confidence as they boast a 100% success rate from previous games against Swiss oppositions (six wins from six). The last time they faced a Swiss team, forgotten man Lucas Perez hit a hat-trick in a 4-1 win over Basel during the 2016-17 Champions League

FC Zurich possible starting lineup:

Brecher; Kryeziu, Omeragic, Aliti; Boranijasevic, Dzemaili, Selnaes, Conde, Guerrero; Tosin, Rohner

Arsenal possible starting lineup:

Turner; Tomiyasu, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Lokonga; Saka, Vieira, Martinelli; Nketiah

The other fixtures are:

  • Fenerbahce vs. Dynamo Kiev
  • HJK Helsinki vs. Real Betis
  • Larnaca vs. Rennes
  • Ludogorets vs. Roma
  • Malmo vs. Braga
  • PSV vs. Bodo/Glimt
  • Union Berlin vs. Union SG
  • Ferencvaros vs. Trabzonspor
  • Freiburg vs. Qarabag FK
  • Lazio vs. Feyenoord
  • Nantes vs. Olympiacos
  • Omonia vs. Sheriff Tiraspol
  • Red Star vs. Monaco
  • Sturm Graz vs. Midtjylland

Also read: Bayern comfortably beat Inter Milan in the UCL group stages


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