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Youngster relishing chances in first-team

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling says he is ready to face Chelsea's strike force in Tuesday’s showdown at Stamford Bridge.

United will be looking for a win to move clear of Arsenal at the top of the league while Chelsea look to keep pressure on Tottenham in fourth.

Smalling, who signed for United from Fulham in the summer, has been in brilliant form of late and is confident the Red Devils' forwards are as good as Fernando Torres, Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba.

“We’ve got such a good squad,” Smalling told talkSPORT.

“We’re not sure who the manager is going to put on. They’ve got world class strikers like we have.

“Whoever we face we’ll be ready and off the back of a couple of clean sheets we’ll be confident to let our boys at the front pull them apart.”

The 21-year-old, who has been given his chance in the side after injuries to Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans, admits he is loving the opportunity of playing regularly.

“It’s brilliant,” added the centre-back.

“It’s really given me some confidence and to be able to have the manager’s faith behind me to just go out and express myself and play is really good.”

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