Chris Smalling poised to start ahead of England teammate for Manchester United against Tottenham

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling is expected to be given the nod to start the club’s opening Premier League game of the 2015-16 season against Tottenham at the weekend, Guardian Sport reports.

The Red Devils have struggled with the right-hand side of their defence in particular during pre-season and manager Louis van Gaal flagged up the issue in the aftermath of the game against Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain.

Phil Jones, who started the 2-0 defeat against the reigning champions of France, is set to dropped for the clash against Spurs at Old Trafford on Saturday and his England international colleague Smalling is set to be handed a chance to prove he is capable of nailing down a regular spot in the team this year.

With van Gaal’s attempts to bring in a new central defender proving unsuccessful thus far, Smalling, who signed a new deal with the club towards the end of last season, could potentially save his manager some money in the transfer market if he can seize the opportunity with both hands.

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