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Manchester United defender looking forward to City clash

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Manchester United defender Chris Smalling is relishing the prospect of playing against Manchester City on Sunday.

Smalling deputised for Manchester United's first choice right-back Rafael, who has been out injured since the Premier League champions' Community Shield win.

Rafael has returned to first-team training but may not be thrown into the deep end against United's arch-rivals - leaving Smalling to be the man likely to start on Sunday.

The England international, speaking to BT Sport, said of Sunday's Premier League encounter at the Etihad Stadium: "It is a game we all relish.

"Really, it is even better going to their stadium to try and get a result than it is our own.

"We know they will try to push our backs to the wall. But we will be ready and we will come out fighting."

Manchester United manager to come away from the Etihad Stadium last season thanks to Robin van Persie's late goal, a victory that still lives long in the memory of Smalling.

"No-one will ever forget what happened last season," added the 23-year-old.

"If ever there was a way you could choose to win a game, in the last minute, away from home, against your biggest rivals, that was it.

"The celebrations afterwards were brilliant and we want more of the same."

Smalling is hoping he can stay injury free this season after what he described as a 'frustrating season' for the former Fulham defender.

He concluded: "I am just crossing my fingers I stay fit now.

"I have been okay since the start of the season and whilst right-back is not my preferred position but I know I can play there if I need to."

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Topics:
Manchester United
Football
Chris Smalling
Premier League

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