Chris Smalling believes that Manchester United’s recent Wembley outings could serve as an advantage ahead of their League Cup final encounter with Southampton on Sunday.
Man United claimed wins over Everton and Crystal Palace at Wembley last season on route to their FA Cup win under Louis van Gaal.
They then managed a third successive 2-1 win at Wembley over Leicester City in the Community Shield back in August.
And Smalling, speaking after United’s 1-0 win over Saint Etienne in the Europa League, noted that such recent experience could help them against Claude Puel’s side, whose last visit to Wembley dates back to 2010.
“I can’t wait to get my boots back on now,” he said. “We’ll be relishing Sunday and the chance to pick up a piece of silverware.”
“There are quite a few of us that have played a number of games at Wembley and maybe some of their players haven’t, so hopefully that will give us the edge on Sunday.”
It always feels like the game’s overall dynamic changes at Wembley: everything seems slightly bigger – literally and figuratively. United’s recent success at the home of English football stemmed from being able to make the notoriously large pitch as big as possible, with Michael Carrick acting as a metronomic anchor in the middle.
You sense that whoever manages to get to grips with the game’s overall enormity, taking the magnitude of the occasion in their stride, will emerge as victorious on Sunday.