Dimitar Berbatov has warned Manchester United that they need to be wary of David Silva and Adnan Januzaj against Real Sociedad on Thursday evening.
The Reds’ Europa League campaign gets under way on Thursday when they face the Spanish club in the first leg of their round of 32 tie.
Whilst Berbatov believes United will be favourites for the game, despite their middling Premier League form in recent weeks, he says that Sociedad have the potential to cause some trouble.
Speaking to Betfair, the former United forward pointed at Man City legend Silva as being a standout threat.
He said: “This week the Europa League returns and it could be a good opportunity for United to get back to winning ways and get some confidence back.
“They play Real Sociedad and United are the favourites, but we have expected them to win in the past and that hasn’t always gone to plan. This is where the motivation factor and the drive to correct mistakes of the past comes in.
“I expect them to make up for their mistakes in the league and not lose concentration in this one.
“This competition is also a great chance for them to win a trophy, which is something Solskjaer will really want to do with them and I expect to see a strong team for this one, the core of the team should be playing to help them get the result they need – it will show real determination and motivation to do well in the competition.”
He added: “One of the names in the Real Sociedad side that stands out, for obvious reasons, is David Silva.
“He’s 35 but he is still a classy player, he may have lost a slight turn of pace but classy players never lose it, he’s mind will still be sharp, look at the likes of Messi, Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo, they are all well into their 30s.
“United will have an eye on him for sure, he won’t be a stranger to the way United play football and he can still cause problems for the Spanish side.
“When he played in the Premier League he was up there as one of the best, he knew how to think on the pitch, how to turn with the ball, how to find the space, work in tight spaces, and pass the ball at the right time to the right players and the right foot of the player, which is very important, believe me.”
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Manchester United’s European campaign resumes this week as they travel to Turin to take on Real Sociedad in the first leg of the Europa League last 32.
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Berbatov also reflected on the presence of former United starlet Januzaj and said the attacker will no doubt be motivated to perform well against his ex-club.
He said: “I remember when Adnan was a very young boy and he would join the first team at United, he was very young and inexperienced, he had great quality but the timing probably wasn’t quite right for him at United and maybe this was the reason why he didn’t quite get the game time people expected towards the end of his time at the club.
“I remember a very young boy that was eager to play freely without much tactical awareness, always keen to go one on one against players, like all young players do.
“He’s now 26 and he still has a lot of football ahead of him. Coming up against his former club I’m sure he will want to do well and score a goal, but United was in his past and he needs to look towards the future and I wish him luck.”