When the draw for the round of 32 of the Europa League was held on 14 December and the hype matched Real with Manchester United, few gave a penny for a txuri urdin team that, although they had achieved their classification by drawing in Naples, the first signs of exhaustion were beginning to appear and the infirmary kept adding tenants week after week. In addition, those of Oleg Gunnar Solksjäer They began to link triumphs that would lead them to lead the Premier League, offering a feeling that at Old Trafford they had not seen in years. Today, two months later and on the eve of their confrontation, things have changed and the Real's options to achieve a historic classification seem to have increased. These are the reasons for hope.
1 ISAK'S GREAT MOMENT
La Real comes to this tie with their center forward in a state of grace. The Swede has scored five consecutive league games and the constant sense of danger that he generates in each action plays in favor of his teammates.
2 POSITIVE DYNAMICS
The team has left behind the losing streak of results that led them to add only two wins in 17 games. He comes from beating Cádiz and Getafe and from drawing at Villarreal, where he deserved to win and has 10 consecutive games scoring at least one goal.
3 A MANCHESTER UNITED DOWN
Unlike Real, the Solksjäer team, which between November 7 and January 27 had added 14 wins, 3 draws and 3 losses, comes to this tie in a more negative dynamic after achieving 2 wins – one of them in the FA Cup in overtime- 3 draws and 1 loss.
4 WITHOUT ALMOST INJURED
Unlike a few weeks ago when the medical part seemed more like a war part, the txuri urdin infirmary has almost no tenants. Only Luca Sangalli and Miguel Ángel Moyá are out for Thursday's game as Mikel Oyarzabal played 78 minutes in Getafe without problems and both Silva and Illarramendi have shown signs of having left their physical problems behind. Against Getafe, and for the first time in a long time, Imanol had to make two discards in the call.
5 SIN POGBA, BEST PLAYER OF JANUARY
Paul Pogba's injury has been a serious setback for Manchester United, who lost one of their most prominent footballers in this tie, not in vain the French had been chosen as the best footballer in the Premier League in January.
The Europa League is an attractive competition for a Real that is trying to make a name for itself in Europe and that its players face with maximum motivation. The same does not happen in the English team whose priority is not only the Premier, but above all to achieve a place in the next edition of the Champions League. The Europa League is for them, and especially for their fans, a second-level competition, at least for now, and that can play in favor of the Txuri Urdin team.