Manchester United will be without Rafael and Jonny Evans as they look to move within touching distance of a place in the knockout phase of the Champions League when they travel to Spain to take on Real Sociedad.
Along with Tom Cleverley, the pair were taken off at half-time in Saturday’s victory over Fulham. Cleverley has since recovered from double vision, but Rafael and Evans are ruled out with back and ankle problems, respectively. Michael Carrick missed the match through injury and is again expected to be absent on Tuesday.
Following the triple substitution at Craven Cottage, United relinquished their advantage against a struggling Fulham side, who pulled the score back to 3-1 and could easily have made it an even closer finale. Despite that second-half showing, Moyes believes his side’s performances have picked up in recent weeks, although he is taking nothing for granted at the Anoeta.
“I feel we're playing better and getting some good results to go with it,” he said, according to UEFA.com. “Long may that continue. I won't take anything for granted. I have a lot of respect for Sociedad. We have to play well if we're going to get those ten points, which will get us over the line. We've got ourselves into a good position in the group and we have to try to maintain that. I think our experienced players have shown they're used to the Champions League and that's shown in the games.”
United came out on top 1-0 in the reverse fixture two weeks ago to leave the Premier League champions on seven points from three games. Real Sociedad remain without a point, but manager Jagoba Arraste has confidence in his side to get a win that may be needed to keep their hopes of progress alive.
“If we do things right and get close to our game plan we can win,” he said. “This is the only thing on our minds. United have qualification in their sights and are playing away from home so we don't know how they'll approach [the game]. We have to try to play our normal game and take the initiative -- if we can get close to doing what we want and do our jobs well, as we have been doing, I think we can get the better of United.”
Sociedad’s form has improved in recent weeks as they have won three of their last four matches in La Liga and scored five goals without replay against Osasuna on Saturday. Perhaps not coincidentally their fitness concerns have also lessened, with long-term injury victim Esteban Granero now the only significant absentee.
Real Sociedad (probable)
D: C. Martinez,Gonzalez, I. Martinez, Angel
M: Pardo, Zurutuza
Vela, Prieto, Griezmann
Manchester United (probable)
G: De Gea
D: Jones, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra
M: Fellaini, Giggs
Valencia, Rooney, Kagawa
F: Van Persie
Where to watch: The Champions League Group A match will kick off at 2.45 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by Fox Sports 1, with a live stream available on Fox Soccer 2Go.