Chris Smalling expects to be fit for Everton FA Cup semi-final clash

by Tanveer Arayan

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling believes he’ll be fit to face Everton in the FA Cup semi-final clash at Wembley this weekend.

The Englishman was seen limping in the closing minutes of the 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Old Trafford and an injury would have been bad news after a positive week with two wins on the bounce.

Louis van Gaal‘s side have kept five clean sheets in their past six games at home and Smalling’s spectacular form this season has played a vital role in the club’s successful defensive record.

Thankfully, he insists the challenge was nothing serious and that he’ll be fine to face Everton. Talking about his injury, he said: “Yeah I’ll be fine. It was just a 50/50 and he caught me after, but it’s nothing serious.” He said.

Speaking about the season so far, Smalling admits Man United are proud to have finally found their strength in defence.

He added: “The defensive record is something we’re proud of as a team, and especially as a back four, because that’s our job, it’s nice to get another clean sheet,” he added. “We keep each other in line and keep talking, because we don’t want our concentration to slip.

“I think we’ve done exactly what we’ve needed to do, and it’s about having City and Arsenal looking over their shoulder, and we’ve put a bit more pressure on,” he said. “Now we look forward to Saturday.”

It’s been a season to forget for Man United fans but Smalling’s performances have given fans optimism for the future. His transformation has been one of the best things to happen under van Gaal having failed to truly progress in the last few years prior to this season.

He’s arguably been United’s best player along with David de Gea and Anthony Martial this campaign and looking ahead, the Englishman is future captain material and van Gaal deserves credit for placing his faith in him.

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