Smalling and Firminho battle at Anfield last season | Photo: EON Sports


Manchester United defender Chris Smalling understands how difficult it is to come away from Anfield with a positive result. and admits cool-heads are required for this showdown.

The Red Devils have won the last two Premier League encouters at Liverpool and Smalling and his teammates will be looking to make it a hat-trick of victories to close down the gap bewteen them and league leaders, Manchester City.

Smalling has captained United in recent weeks due to the absence of Wayne Rooney from the starting line-up and is wary of the threat that Liverpool can cause, especially as they have already take three points off Arsenal and Chelsea this season.

Talking to MUTV, the defender said: “They have always been tough games. I think even in the last one, they probably played far better than us but we took our chance. We know they’re a high pressing team and we’re not going to get much timed on the ball, so we need to be prepared for that.”

Emotions always run high

The rivalry is one of the biggest in world football and Smalling understands that the increased capacity at Anfield will improve the atmosphere, but reveals that even the new United players already feel the intensity the fixture has to offer.

“We need to keep our emotions in check because even players who haven’t been at United long know how important this fixture is. It’s a game where I think you need to play to your maximum. Quite often on the pitch, you’re trying to call the midfielders to say there is a man there, but it’s so loud and the atmosphere is so alive.”

The defender was asked if there was any better place to win as a United player and quickly admitted that there wasn’t.

He added: “I’ve been lucky enough to win there a couple of times and it’s a great feeling when you make all those fans happy as we’ve done our jobs and can go back to Manchester with a smile on our faces.”

It’s the start of a busy period for United who face Fenerbache at Old Trafford on Thursday in the Europa League, before a trip to the capital three days later to face Jose Mourinho’s former club, Chelsea.