Fri, 31 Mar 2023

MADRID, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Real Sociedad and Betis both face difficult tasks on Thursday if they want to qualify for the quarterfinals of the Europa League.

Both teams suffered away defeats in the first leg, with Real Sociedad losing 2-0 to Roma, while Betis were beaten 4-1 by Manchester United after a second half dominated by the Premier League side.

Real Sociedad are hoping for a sell-out crowd in their Reale Arena to take on the side coached by Jose Mourinho. Roma demonstrated in the first leg that they don't need to control the ball, and in San Sebastian they can be expected to try to defend with order and hurt Real Sociedad on the break and at set pieces.

La Real need to recover their form after a dip in performances in recent weeks after taking just seven points from their last seven league matches.

"You have to start these second-leg ties aggressively, but we have to be careful, because it is one thing to be aggressive and another to be unbalanced," commented Real Sociedad striker Takefusa Kubo to the press on Tuesday.

Betis are missing French midfielder Nabil Fekir for their game against Manchester United. Since he damaged his cruciate knee ligament against Elche on February 24, the statistics show that his side created fewer chances and scored fewer goals, with just two in their last three matches.

Young forward Rodri has stepped up, but it is a big task for Betis to overcome a three-goal deficit to Manchester United, even though the Benito Villamarin Stadium can be guaranteed to provide atmosphere.

Manchester United will have Casemiro in their side after his second sending off in 19 Premier League matches, but winger Alejandro Garnacho is out of action with an injury he suffered at the weekend.

Sevilla are the third Spanish side in action, with Jorge Sampaoli's side to defend a 2-0 first-leg advantage away to Turkish side Fenerbahce.

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