Manchester United will open their Europa League campaign tonight when they host Real Sociedad at Old Trafford.


They have been placed in Group E alongside Sheriff and Omonia, and Manchester United and La Real are the favourites to reach the next stage of the competition amongst the four teams.



Merino admitted that he had mixed feelings when he saw Real Sociedad in the same group as the Red Devils as he conceded that his team would have preferred easier opponents at this stage.


However, the Sociedad star is looking forward to playing at Old Trafford and stressed if his team are to win the Europa League they need to beat teams of Manchester United’s calibre.



Merino told The Athletic: “I had mixed feelings.


“My first impression was ‘what a tough opponent’.


“It’s not always the best to face an opponent like this in the group stages because you want to have more pleasant games, but at the same time, it’s a huge challenge.



“It’s great to face big teams, to go to stadiums like Old Trafford with all its history.


“I feel privileged to be a part of this and if you want to win a competition like the Europa League then you have to take on top opponents, either at the beginning or the end.”


Manchester United beat Real Sociedad with a 4-0 aggregate scoreline in the Europa League knockout rounds last year.