Manchester United’s Chris Smalling to start against Tottenham Hotspur ahead of Phil Jones – report

by Robbie Dunne

Chris Smalling will start ahead of Phil Jones when Manchester United begin their Premier League season against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, according to the Guardian.

The report suggests that Louis van Gaal will opt for Smalling as he has not been overly impressed by Jones’ form.

Van Gaal reportedly held a behind closed doors friendly made up exclusively of Man United players this week and Daley Blind and Smalling made up the central defensive partnership for the team he is considering to play against Spurs.

Blind has long held the trust of van Gaal but there is a question mark over whether or not he is good enough to play at the back.

Phil Jones 2

This could be an ongoing issue for United throughout the season as the club have so far failed to sign a top class central defender this summer.

Although the protection offered by Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinstieger at the base of midfield will make United’s defensive duties easier, centre-back is still one of United’s weakest areas.

Smalling and Jones are both young and can be excellent on their day but inconsistencies and injuries have plagued both men’s careers to date. There is continued hope that the two players, who have represented their country on numerous occasions, can grab the position and make it their own this year.

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