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United aim to keep La Real waiting

Manchester United FC will look to build on their unbeaten start in Group A when they host a Real Sociedad de Fútbol still seeking their first points in the competition.

Robin van Persie will face his old Arsenal team-mate Carlos Vela
Robin van Persie will face his old Arsenal team-mate Carlos Vela ©Getty Images

Manchester United FC will look to inflict more misery on Real Sociedad de Fútbol when the teams meet for the first ever time at Old Trafford on matchday three.

• Jagoba Arrastate's bottom-placed side are still searching for their first points in Group A after defeats by FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Bayer 04 Leverkusen – the latter loss cruelly inflicted by an added-time goal in Germany. To retain realistic hope of progress in their first UEFA Champions League campaign in a decade, La Real will need to take something from their trip to Manchester yet United will have other ideas as they look to build on their unbeaten start.

Match background
• United will hope their 4-2 opening Group A home victory over Leverkusen marked a return to winning ways at Old Trafford, where their form in UEFA competition had been uncharacteristically shaky with four defeats from their previous six fixtures.

• The English title holders have lost their last two home games against Spanish opposition, going down 2-1 to Real Madrid CF in last season's round of 16 and succumbing 3-2 to Athletic Club at the same stage of the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League. Wayne Rooney was on target three times overall in that two-legged tie against Athletic, La Real's Basque rivals, but United lost 5-3 on aggregate.

• United have won only one of their last six Old Trafford fixtures against Liga visitors – the 1-0 UEFA Champions League semi-final success over FC Barcelona in 2008. Their overall home record against Spanish opponents is W8 D9 L4.

• La Real are making only their second trip to England and will certainly want to fare better than on their first – when they crashed to a 6-0 defeat at Liverpool FC in the 1975/76 UEFA Cup second round. John Toshack, a future manager of the San Sebastian club, scored the first goal for Liverpool, who had already won the first leg 3-1 in Spain.

• United lost UEFA Champions League finals against Barcelona in 2009 and 2011 having beaten the same opponents in the 1991 European Cup Winners' Cup final.

Team ties
• As manager of Everton FC, David Moyes lost a 2005/06 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie against Villarreal CF 4-2 on aggregate after 2-1 defeats in both legs.

• David de Gea featured in Club Atlético de Madrid's two Liga victories over La Real in 2010/11, winning 4-2 away and 3-0 at home.

• Robin van Persie and Carlos Vela were team-mates at Arsenal FC between 2008 and 2011. Vela replaced Van Persie as a late substitute in Arsenal's 3-1 second-leg home loss to United in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League semi-final. Vela never faced United in the Premier League, where he made 29 appearances for Arsenal, scoring three goals, and another eight on loan at West Bromwich Albion FC where he scored twice.

• Vela played alongside Javier Hernández in Mexico's 2-0 defeat of Patrice Evra's France at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

• Evra featured in France's 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Spain with Les Bleus drawing 1-1 away in October last year before losing 1-0 at home in March.

• Haris Seferovic's Switzerland side took on a Spain featuring De Gea in qualifying for the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship – the United keeper came out on top with a home win and away draw and two clean sheets. Seferovic had previously scored for Switzerland in a 3-2 UEFA European Under-19 Championship home defeat by England in June 2011.

• Van Persie was in the Netherlands side beaten by Spain in the 2010 World Cup final. With Arsenal he lost to Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League round of 16, scoring in a 2-1 first-leg victory but receiving a red card in a 3-1 second-leg defeat.

• Antonio Valencia spent 2005/06 in Spain, making two Liga appearances for Villarreal and another 12 in the second tier for RC Recreativo de Huelva.

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