Real Sociedad captain could miss Manchester United tie with thigh strain

Real Sociedad Anoeta

Xabi Prieto is the captain of Real Sociedad, but an injury could see him miss the game with Manchester United at Old Trafford next month.

Manchester United have had a topsy-turvy start to life under David Moyes, but there is nothing that way inclined in regards to their Champions League form so far.

They beat Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 at Old Trafford in a performance that was at times scrappy, but in the end United were the better team - and had gilt edged chances to score more than just the four.

The other two teams in their group are dangerous looking sides. Shakhtar Donetsk, who despite losing several star players, are still a considerable force in European football - and Real Sociedad.

The Spanish side were playing in the second tier two years ago, but finished fourth last term ahead of Valencia, Malaga, Sevilla and co.

They then went on to defeat French giants Olympique Lyonnais in the qualifying rounds - so they certainly deserve their place in the competition.

They play Manchester United on the 23rd October, so a little over a month away - and they will need their full squad to be available in order to get anything from Old Trafford.

But they are now facing a potential problem in the centre of their midfield. They signed Esteban Granero on loan from QPR this summer, but he tore knee ligaments almost immediately that ruled him out for the season.

The last thing they needed was for another starting midfielder, who also happens to be their captain, facing a race against time to be fit.

But that is what has happened, with 30-year-old club captain Xabi Prieto tearing a thigh muscle. He limped out of the game with Barcelona on Tuesday, and it is now confirmed he could miss two to four weeks with the problem.

He has definitely been ruled out of the games with Sevilla, Bayer Leverkusen and Rayo Vallecano - with the Valencia game on the 18th a real doubt.

It means his next game is likely to be against Manchester United on the 23rd, if he returns from the problem in time that is.

Prieto is a vital component for the misfiring side, who have not won a game since beating Lyon in the second leg of Champions League qualifying in August.

He is their pendulum, who makes them tick, and his presence will be needed if they are to get any form of result at the Theatre of Dreams.

But at this rate, he will be just another player missing from a comfortable defeat at the hands of United.

image: © benbore

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