Last Sunday, Liverpool crushed Manchester United 7-0 in the biggest and most humiliating defeat for the Red Devils under the command of Erik ten Hag, who described his team’s performance in the second 45 minutes as «unprofessional». . With no time to mourn, the Dutch coach will have to raise the spirits of his players to face a difficult tie in the round of 16 of the UEFA Europa League with Real Betis. The setback against Liverpool has been historic and very difficult to digest, but it should be remembered that Man Utd won by the minimum after each of their two defeats by three or more goals difference suffered this season.

Despite the shower they received at Anfield, Old Trafford will wear their best clothes to boost their team, unbeaten at home since September (W17, D2!). The local fans will not have forgotten that the last victory of a visiting team at the Theater of Dreams was achieved by a Spanish club (MUN 0-1 Real Sociedad) in the group stage of this UEL, and although they got rid of Barcelona for reaching the round of 16, Man Utd have been knocked out by a La Liga team in each of their last five European campaigns.

This Thursday will be Betis’s first visit to Old Trafford, and the Verdiblanca squad faces it after having left a clean sheet against Real Madrid at the Benito Villamarín (0-0). Manuel Pellegrini’s team has gone four games without losing in LaLiga (G3, E1) and is only three points behind the Champions League zone, in which it has not competed since 2005-06.

The Andalusian team travels to Manchester linking three wins at home, the most recent two by 3-2, and in the UEL they have chained five outings without losing (W4, D1). Undoubtedly, they are very positive and encouraging results for a Betis that had an almost perfect group stage (G5, E1) and that will not be intimidated in the fiefdom of one of the European giants.

Key battle: The big pivot Casemiro, a doubt for this match, has suffered just two defeats in his 12 games against Betis (W7, D3, L2). If he can play, one of his tasks may be to stop Ayoze Pérez, a playmaker on loan from Leicester who provided two assists in his last performance against Man Utd (LEI 4-2 MUN).

Highlight: All four of Manuel Pellegrini’s games as manager against Man Utd in European competitions have ended 0-0, all against Villarreal.