JUST a week ago, Manchester United were riding high – and they'll be hoping to rediscover that form TONIGHT.
Erik ten Hag's men got their hands on the Carabao Cup – their first piece of silverware in six years.
And after suddenly closing the gap on Arsenal and Manchester City in the Premier League title race, they were on course for a shock Quadruple.
United had been the form team in the country… until a trip up the M62 on Sunday.
Ten Hag led his side to Anfield to take on a stuttering Liverpool side expected to be ripped apart by red-hot Marcus Rashford.
In a barely-believable 90 minutes, Jurgen Klopp's Reds showed signs of their old, rampant best as they stormed to a 7-0 win.
READ MORE SPORT STORIES
Fans praise Man Utd boss Ten Hag for axing Ajax hothead after X-rated rant
1-2-Free: Win £100 in CASH if you correctly predict three scores with Ladbrokes
Liverpool played well, of course. But the manner of United's second-half capitulation – conceding six times and seemingly having thrown in the towel – will be a huge concern to the boss.
Famously-strict Ten Hag dragged his flops into training early on Monday morning – and turned up two hours before them as he plotted his next move.
The boss has to figure out one simple thing: Was the Liverpool mauling a one-off, a fluke, an anomaly? Or was United's incredible run simply just a purple patch?
MAN UTD vs BETIS ODDS, PREDICTIONS AND BETTING OFFERS
Most read in Football
Man Utd sale could be OFF with Glazers considering way of cashing in on fans
Police launch flashing inquiry into Kyle Walker & seize CCTV of his antics
My husband Kyle Walker is a d*** after being caught flashing, says wife
Tottenham and AC Milan match DELAYED after both team coaches arrive LATE
Ten Hag doesn't have long to work it out, either, with Real Betis heading to Old Trafford for the first leg of their Europa League last 16 tie.
The LaLiga team may be without star man Nabil Fekir – with the former Premier League target out for the season with an ACL tear – but have another trump card up their sleeve.
Boss Manuel Pellegrini knows all about United from his days in the Premier League with rivals City and West Ham,
And the Chilean boss boasts a strong record vs Man Utd – winning five and drawing one of his nine games in the Prem.
Ten Hag must put any thoughts like that to the back of his mind and get his shellshocked squad to bounce back strongly.
READ MORE SUN STORIES
Bet £5 on football and get £20 in free bets with Ladbrokes
Win an incredible Rolex Batman or £12k cash alternative from just 89p
A commanding win on Thursday will go a long way to helping restore the confidence.
But a defeat could send a few jitters through the Old Trafford ranks.
A collapse at this stage in the season could be terminal for their hopes of winning any more silverware… or even clinging on to a top-four spot.
What is their form like?
Man Utd: Up until Sunday, very good. But now? It's up in the air. It's all about how Ten Hag can get his team to bounce back.
United had been unbeaten in 11 matches – including their two-legged win over Barcelona – since a 3-2 defeat against Arsenal in January prior to the Kop shock.
Real Betis: Solid, if unspectacular.
The LaLiga side most-recently drew 0-0 with high-flying Real Madrid last weekend and are unbeaten since losing a 4-3 thriller vs Celta Vigo on February 4.
What is the team news and any injuries to worry about?
Man Utd: Ten Hag has no new injury concerns following the 7-0 thrashing by Liverpool, with Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek and Christian Eriksen all long-term absentees.
But the furious boss may decide to ring the changes.
Luke Shaw and Diogo Dalot had a tough day at the office, with both Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Tyrell Malacia pushing for starts.
Wout Weghorst and Fred may also see their places in the XI come under threat following their performances with Jadon Sancho and Marcel Sabitzer expected to play.
Real Betis: Missing Fekir through injury is a blow, but the club have back up in academy graduate Rodri.
Otherwise, Pellegrini has a full squad to choose from.
Who will be the star men?
Man Utd: Marcus Rashford.
Ten Hag is almost certain to ring the changes, but Rashford but surely remain – most likely as a central striker.
The England star has been in red-hot form since the World Cup and the Liverpool defeat is unlikely to harm his stock.
The boss is unlikely to rest players at this point in the competition, particularly with their spot in title race gone.
Real Betis: Rodri.
The academy hotshot has been fast-tracked into the Betis first XI in Fekir's absence and performed admirably.
How he performs up against Casemiro could determine the outcome of the game.
Man Utd 2 Real Betis 0
When is Man Utd vs Real Betis?
- United's home clash with Betis will take place TONIGHT – Thursday, March 9.
- The game will be held at Old Trafford.
- United vs Betis will get underway from 8pm UK time.
What channel is it can it be live streamed?
- Man Utd vs Real Betis will be shown live on BT Sport 1 in the UK.
- You can live stream the action from the BT Sport app, which is available for download onto your mobile or tablet device.
Read More on The Sun
I’m a fashion expert and these 5 styles of trainers make you look frumpy
Martin Roberts breaks down in tears as he announces death of father
- Man Utd – 2/5
- Draw – 7/2
- Real Betis – 13/1
*Odds courtesy of Ladbrokes and correct at time of publication.
Source: Read Full Article