Juan Mata and Willian Chelsea and Man United
Juan Mata and Willian Chelsea and Man United

Manchester United face Real Sociedad in the Round of 32 Europa League on Thursday and Juan Mata could be a part of the starting line-up.

Juan Mata has fallen down the pecking order this season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the 32-year-old has been missing from the matchday squads for United’s last few Premier League games.

But the Spaniard was named in the travelling squad for the Sociedad game and if Ole’s words are anything to go by then Juan Mata could be starting in Turin.

“He’s been away for a little while,” Solskjaer told reporters at his pre-match press conference.

“Of course, against West Brom, you’re thinking ‘can we have someone to unlock the door?’

“If we had Juan there, to create that pass… because he has done well in the earlier part of the season, Juan.

“Now he’s back, he’s travelling with us. He’s been bright in training, so if we see Juan on the pitch, he’ll want to prove to his Spanish fans as well what a quality player he is.”

Edinson Cavani has not travelled with the squad due to an injury and even Anthony Martial is a doubt and will have to go through a late fitness test to see whether he will be eligible to play or not.

And with so many injury doubts, there’s a big chance that Juan Mata could operate in one of the wings for Man United against Real Sociedad on Thursday.

Amad Diallo and Dan James are other options who can play in those same roles but Solskjaer will definitely want to go with a bit more experience in the final third of the pitch.

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