Manchester United centre-back Chris Smalling believes that facing fellow European giants Paris St Germain and Barcelona on their pre-season tour of the states, will only be a benefit to United as they prepare for the 2015/16 season.
United will looking to hit the ground running this coming season after a slow start last season, that saw them pick up just five points from their first five games.
Louis Van Gaal’s side will come up against the Champions of the France in the shape of PSG and the Spanish and European Champions Barcelona. Smalling is relishing the opportunity to come against these top sides, especially with the prospect of facing them in the coming season’s Champions League competition.
Smalling said "I’m really looking forward to it. We’ve faced Barcelona before during pre-season and on those occasions the stadiums were amazing. It was a packed house for both matches. To have the chance to test yourself against the best will be another good step in preparation for the new season"
He added "Playing PSG for the first time will offer a different sort of test, and it’s always important to be exposed to different teams from different leagues, we may end playing them later on in thee season, provide we get through our Champions League qualifier."
As a centre-back Smalling is facing up to the prospect of facing some great strikers in form of Zlatan Ibrahimovic for PSG, while Barcelona may have a front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar. Smalling is not daunted by this challenge and expects them all to other different challenges.
Smalling stated "Messi and Ibrahimovic are two very different players, Messi is a player who wants that space and you need to get tight to stop him turning. I think the whole team has to work hard, not just the back four."
Smalling said "Ibrahimovic on the other hand, wants to feel you and if you get too tight he’ll roll you as he’s a really strong guy."