Smalling eyes United progress

Defender confident of seeing off Marseille

Smalling: Confident

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Chris Smalling is confident Manchester United can build on their formidable home record this season and beat Marseille in the UEFA Champions League.

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The last-16 tie between the sides is very much in the balance going into Tuesday's second leg at Old Trafford, following a 0-0 draw in France last month.

Marseille head to England fully aware that if they score an away goal it puts the pressure on United to win the match.

Sir Alex Ferguson's men went out on away goals to Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of last season's competition as Arjen Robben struck the decisive blow.

However, Smalling does not believe there is any reason to worry about such matters as he is convinced the Red Devils will prove too strong, having not lost at home this term.

"We have been pretty immense at Old Trafford all season," said the defender, who is likely to start alongside Nemanja Vidic once again with Rio Ferdinand only due to return to training after injury at the beginning of the week.

"So, while we were disappointed not to get that away goal we will approach our task full of confidence."

Jitters

Smalling has already played in six of United's seven Champions League games this season, while he also gained some European experience last year as Fulham charged to the Europa League final.

The 21-year-old accepts the standard this term has been far higher, saying: "I played in Europe with Fulham last season but that was in smaller stadiums with smaller crowds.

"It was one step but the Champions League is the biggest competition. Hopefully I can get many more games because as each game passes I am getting more confident.

"Experiences like that are the only way you can improve.

"I do have a few jitters but I like these sort of occasions."

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