The KC Stadium

Next Game

Hull City v Man Utd

Sunday, 24 May 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Old Trafford

Last Game

Man Utd 1 - 1 Arsenal

Sunday, 17 May 2015, 16:00

Barclays Prem

United ready for tough start

Chris Smalling believes Manchester United's tough start to the Premier League season could eventually prove to be in their favour.

Last Updated: 17/08/13 at 16:46 Post Comment

Chris Smalling: United defender ready for a tough start to season

Chris Smalling: United defender ready for a tough start to season

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The early-season schedule had new United boss David Moyes scratching his head, asking for clarification from officials that the fixtures had been drawn at random.

United travel to Swansea on Saturday before matches against likely title rivals Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City, with only a home tie against likely strugglers Crystal Palace that could be deemed anything like an 'easy' game.

But Smalling sees things differently, saying: "We've got some big fixtures at the start of the season but if we can put on some really good performances and pick up a few points it's going to give us a big boost and set us apart from our rivals.

"In one sense, it is good to get them out of the way.

"The Swansea game has been in our minds for a while. Going into the season as champions brings an expectation.

"We're seen as the best but we know we need to show it but we're firing and ready to go. We can't wait for that first whistle."

Competition for places

The new season brings the same challenge for Smalling, who is likely battling with Phil Jones for the right-back slot with Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans likely to battle for central roles.

"It does make it tough," he added. "When I first joined, there were a lot of centre-backs and it was the same last season.

"It makes it really competitive because everyone is looking for one of those two spots. It keeps us on our toes that's for sure.

"I just want to stay injury free. Being out was so frustrating. I don't think I played after Easter because of my foot.

"It makes such a difference when you get a proper pre-season under your belt. Without it, you are catching up a little bit. I feel good at the moment. I'm not far off (being 100% match fit) now. I feel confident and it is just about getting that sharpness back."

You can watch Swansea City take on Manchester United on Sky Sports 1HD and Sky Sports 3D from 17:00 on Saturday.

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

think Finnegans Wake would have been a better reference point than Ulysses. Far more rambling and incomprehensible.

debra2927
Football People On TV: Garth Crooks

I

f I recall correctly, Degsy predicted a 100/1 shot correctly the week after his 150/1 Blackpool 4 - 3 Bolton call. I stuck a fiver on it as an idle bet. Paid for a stag do in Munich. Heady days...

baldini
Backing Hull To Beat United 2-1...

R

odgers prefers Joe Allen to Lucas? If this is true then I'm setting aside a fortnight to finally learn the rules of American Football and I'll give up on real football.

godzilla
The Jammy Gossip

Footer 365

Carlton Cole doesn't know if he will stay at West Ham next season

West Ham striker Carlton Cole revealed he still does not know where his future lies beyond this season.

Louis van Gaal believes David De Gea will stay at Manchester United

Louis van Gaal believes David De Gea will stay at Manchester United despite speculation linking him with Real Madrid.

Roy Hodgson wants Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard on England coaching staff

Roy Hodgson wants Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard on the England coaching team when they retire from playing.

Mail Box

Only One Real Manager Of The Year

Winning the Premier League with the best squad in the Premier League is only par; Ronald Koeman did a whole lot better. Plus, the last word on Raheem and...

Don't Slate Sterling For Ambition...

Raheem Sterling deserves credit for his desire to quit Liverpool, according to one mailboxer. Also: why football should not be compared to business and Degsy's latest spot of bother...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company