Manchester United defender Chris Smalling is hoping to overcome his injury in-time for Sunday’s fixture against Arsenal at Old Trafford.
The 26-year-old missed his second game of the season in Thursday’s Europa League win over FC Midtjylland with a shoulder injury.
With Man United’s current injury crisis, news of the Englishman’s recovery will come as a great relief to Louis van Gaal.
He insists he’s been making good progress and expects to be back in time.
“Touch wood, that carries on,” Smalling said about his excellent form this season ahead of Arsenal.
“I was disappointed to miss the other night, but I’m hoping to be okay to play this game. I’ve not really done anything differently to the other lads but, probably from about halfway through last season, I got on a good run in the team and I’ve just tried to carry that on from there. Long may it continue.”
Smalling has been our best defender this season by quite some margin and having him back for Arsenal would be a huge boost to our chances.
Michael Carrick and Daley Blind played at centre-back against FC Midtjylland and their lack of pace was horribly exposed, something which Arsenal would almost certainly take advantage of. Without Smalling, we’d be off to be a bad start before the game had even kicked off.
United need a bit of luck with injuries this season and if we can have both Smalling and De Gea back for Arsenal on Sunday, and Martial too, that’d be a great start.