Smalling wants big test
Chris Smalling would love to be given the opportunity to nullify Stoke's aerial bombardment.
Last Updated: 23/10/10 7:55pm
Manchester United defender Chris Smalling would love to be given the opportunity to nullify Stoke's aerial bombardment at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday.
Smalling is likely to drop to the bench despite continuing his impressive start to life at Old Trafford with an assured UEFA Champions League performance against Bursaspor.
Skipper Nemanja Vidic and England captain Rio Ferdinand are set to be restored to the Red Devils' starting XI and Smalling insists whoever lines up in the heart of the United defence will relish the battle.
But he wants to show his muscle against the likes of Kenwyne Jones and Ricardo Fuller and face Rory Delap's notorious long throws - despite many Premier League defenders hardly likely to look forward to such tasks.
"I played at Stoke last year with Fulham," recalled the England Under 21 international. "You get knocked about a bit and there is an aerial bombardment.
"Those long throws are an obvious danger but I relish that type of challenge.
"If Delap is going to put it into the box, any of the centre backs we have here will want to go and attack it.
"You want to be the dominant force over your striker. You don't want to let them get one over on you."