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Boyhood fan Smalling hoping to be fit for Arsenal game

Manchester United's Chris Smalling is hoping to be fit to play against Arsenal, the club he grew up supporting, in the Premier League on Sunday.

Smalling missed United's 5-1 Europa League victory against Midtjylland on Thursday and is not certain to be available to return at Old Trafford.

But the 26-year-old, who has been one of United's most consistent players this season, is desperate to be ready for Arsenal's visit.

"I always look forward to these games," Smalling told United Review.

"It's no secret that I was an Arsenal supporter growing up, so this fixture is even bigger for me and especially given it involves two of the biggest teams in the country.

"I hope I can step out onto the field.

"I was disappointed to miss the other night, but I'm hoping to be okay to play this game."

Smalling went on to highlight three of his most memorable matches against Arsenal.

"The one at the Emirates when [Wayne Rooney] scored [in November 2014]; that was a good away win," the England international added.

"We've had some very good performances at home as well. The 8-2 [in August 2011] was a great day.

"When Welbz [Danny Welbeck] scored the winner for them in the FA Cup last season, that was a bit of a killer blow, but overall I feel like we've done quite well against them."