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Man United vs Real Betis Europa League round of 16 first leg preview: Where to watch, kick-off time, predicted line-ups

When is it? How can you watch it? What are the possible line-ups? All you need to know about the UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg between Manchester United and Real Betis.

Man United forward Marcus Rashford and Erik ten Hag face the media on Wednesday
Man United forward Marcus Rashford and Erik ten Hag face the media on Wednesday Manchester United via Getty Imag

Manchester United and Real Betis meet in their UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg on Thursday 9 March.

Man United vs Betis at a glance

When: Thursday 9 March (21:00 CET kick-off)
Where: Old Trafford, Manchester
What: UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg (second leg: 16 March)
How to follow: Get build-up and live coverage here

Where to watch Man United vs Betis

Fans can find their local UEFA Europa League broadcast partner(s) here.

What do you need to know?

Buoyant under Erik ten Hag, Man United underlined their new confidence when they eliminated Spanish champions Barcelona from the Europa League knockout round play-offs. They followed up by winning the League Cup, their first trophy in six years, and now the Red Devils want more.

Real Betis beat United 1-0 in a friendly in December, and coach Manuel Pellegrini knows his opponents well. The Chilean was in charge of Manchester City from 2013 to 2016, and his Villarreal side held the Red Devils to four 0-0 draws in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Predicted line-ups

Man United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martínez, Malacia; Casemiro, McTominay; Sancho, Bruno Fernandes, Garnacho; Rashford
Misses next match if booked: Casemiro

Real Betis: Rui Silva; Sabaly, Luiz Felipe, Edgar, Miranda; Carvalho, Guido Rodríguez; Luiz Henrique, Canales, Juanmi; Willian José
Misses next match if booked: Claudio Bravo, Pezzella, Luiz Felipe, Ruibal

Form guide

Man United
Form (all competitions, most recent first)
: LWWWWD
Most recent result: Liverpool 7-0 Man United, 05/03, English Premier League
Where they stand: 3rd in Premier League, FA Cup quarter-finals, League Cup winners

Real Betis
Form (all competitions, most recent first)
: DWWWLL
Most recent result: Real Betis 0-0 Real Madrid, 05/03, Spanish Liga
Where they stand: 5th in Spanish Liga

Expert predictions

Steve Bates, Man United reporter
Ten Hag was visibly shell-shocked by United's heavy defeat at Liverpool but he has to quickly galvanise his squad against difficult opponents in Betis, who should arrive with confidence.

The Dutchman will demand an immediate reaction and that could mean a fresh defensive line-up after events at Anfield. After such a damaging defeat, Ten Hag will hope his players can return to the impressive form that saw them beat La Liga leaders Barcelona in the play-offs..

Graham Hunter, Betis reporter
Pellegrini back in familiar surroundings – the city of Manchester and Old Trafford. During the three seasons the Chilean coached United's rivals in light blue he learned all he needs to know about what the atmosphere awaiting Betis at the 'Theatre of Dreams'.

No question, he'll warn his players to ignore the extraordinary defeat Ten Hag's side suffered at Liverpool – doubts, however, about whether vital playmaker Sergio Canales will be fit to start. Juanmi's pace could be vital.

Highlights: Man United 2-1 Barcelona

What the coaches say

Erik ten Hag, Man United coach: "Setbacks will always be there. [The 7-0 league defeat at Liverpool] was a huge setback, clear, but we had a run with 23 games with one loss and that was the second. It had a lot of lessons in it and it can help us in the future. We were really below average, especially mentality-wise. We want to win trophies and you have to act different. After Sunday, we got a big lesson, we take it and we have to move on, look forward. Use all the energy and focus on the next game."

United vs Liga sides this season

09/09/22 Man United 0-1 Real Sociedad
04/11/22 Real Sociedad 0-1 Man United
16/02/23 Barcelona 2-2 Man United
23/02/23 Man United 2-1 Barcelona

Manuel Pellegrini, Betis coach: "We have every hope coming here. Last year we didn't get past this stage because the eventual champions knocked us out, and while that creates a nagging doubt, we feel neither inferior nor superior to Manchester United. Now we have to demonstrate it on the pitch. More than playing against a team that lost 7-0 in their last game, we are playing against a team that has won 19 of their last 21 matches."

Where is the 2023 Europa League final?

POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Budapest's Puskás Aréna will host the final on 31 May 2023.

The winners gain a place in the 2023/24 Champions League group stage, if they have not qualified via their domestic competition.