Smalling is ready for his Old Trafford return

The defender’s presence at the stadium he called home for a decade is one of the intriguing sub-plots for the Europa League semi-final, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan also returning as a former Red. However, neither player will get a warm welcome back – at least not from the fans, who are still unable to attend due to the COVID-19 pandemic of course.

β€œI think that’s one disappointment, not to have a full house and all my friends and family watching a game between two clubs who have been a big part of my career,” said Smalling, when speaking at Roma’s pre-match press conference.

β€œThat’s one unfortunate thing but it doesn’t take away the emotional side because I’ll know every player on the pitch and it’s such a big game as well. It has all the ingredients for wanting to give one of your best performances.”

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