DONNY VAN DE BEEK is a surprise starter for Manchester United's Europa League trip to Real Sociedad.

The Red Devils are already through but a win by two clear goals in their last group game would see them get a bye to the last 16.


Erik ten Hag has put his trust in Van de Beek, despite the 25-year-old playing just 30 minutes of action all season.

Van de Beek has not started a single game this term, although the Dutchman has been struggling with injury.

It remains to be seen whether he will play out wide or in behind Cristiano Ronaldo, who also starts in Spain.

Bruno Fernandes is in from the start too, with either the Portuguese playmaker or Van de Beek likely to play behind Ronaldo, and the other out wide.

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Elsewhere, teenage wonderkid Alejandro Garnacho is one of three changes from the weekend, alongside Van de Beek and Victor Lindelof.

Marcus Rashford, Anthony Elanga and Harry Maguire drop to the bench.

Spanish side Sociedad were 1-0 winners at Old Trafford in the first group stage game back in September.

United have won all four clashes since then and are safely through, but know the bye that would come with a two goal win will allow them to put their legs up during the last 32.

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Finishing top of Group E would also see United avoid a meeting with one of the teams dropping down from the Champions League until later in the competition.

Boss Ten Hag admitted in his press conference that topping the group was "important" – so Van de Beek's inclusion is a slight surprise given his lack of involvement this season.

When asked how crucial it would be top top the group, Ten Hag said: "Clear. Obviously, it's important. We can win tomorrow night. We know what we have to do win by a two-goal margin.

"But if you want to win the trophy you have to win all the games so we have to win every one."

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