Manchester United attack can 'strike fear' into anyone, claims Chris Smalling

The Manchester United defender has admitted how he would not like to come up against his sides attack and believes the fear factor is back in the squad.

Manchester United attack can 'strike fear' into anyone, claims Chris Smalling
Photo: John Peters - Man Utd via Getty Images

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling believes his side have the fear factor back at the club after a number of players have returned from injury.

Both Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimović featured in United's 4-1 win over Newcastle United last week and have travelled to Switzerland as the reds face FC Basel in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.

Smalling, who scored in Saturday's comfortable win at Old Trafford has admitted that the Red Devils' attacking options are up there with Europe's elite.

As well as Pogba and Ibrahimovic coming back into the squad, Jose Mourinho also has the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial at his disposal.

Speaking ahead of United's Champions League clash, Smalling said: “It would strike fear into me if I was playing against them, and I think it strikes fear into most teams.

“The fact we’ve got Paul back, who’s a very attacking midfielder, and Ibra, with all those other names, gives us so many options.

“No matter what the game or the competition is, we’ve got a front three or four who are going to cause opponents so much ­trouble. If we keep it tight at the back, more often than not we’re going to win the game," Smalling added.

Smalling expects a tough test in Basel

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The 27-year-old is expected to partner Victor Lindelóf in the United defence in Basel with both Phil Jones and Eric Bailly out injured.

The Reds were 3-0 winners back in September when the teams met at Old Trafford, but the England international has bad memories from when the two sides met in 2011.

Smalling and David De Gea are the only two survivors from the squad that fell to a 2-1 defeat to Basel - resulting in elimination from the group stage despite United only needing a draw.

He said: "It was a tough time, you forget how long ago it was and how long I've been here.

"The fans here are very much on top of you, very close. But their team's mentality has to change, they have to come and attack more than they did at Old Trafford, so we've got more chance to score more goals than at home."