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EFL Cup 2016: Manchester United vs Manchester City - Five things to watch out for

raghav g
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#4 Chris Smalling and John Stones will look to bounce back

Chris Smalling and John Stones will look to bounce back after lacklustre displays over the weekend

Chris Smalling and John Stones – the future of the England national team’s defence. Both extremely talented, one already a club captain in the absence of regular skipper Wayne Rooney and another a £47.5million mega money signing. Big things are expected of the two centre-backs and most often than not, they perform at that level.

But this past weekend, it was not to be. Both Englishmen had a weekend to forget, as Smalling was horrendous in United’s 4-0 loss at Stamford Bridge, while Stones played a part in Southampton’s goal as City finished 1-1 against the Saints.

Smalling was at fault for the goals United conceded; he was caught sleeping for Chelsea's opener, let Cahill free in the box for the second goal, was beaten with ease by Eden Hazard for the third strike and then let N’golo Kante cruise past him for the fourth. It was a dismal performance by the stand-in captain, one of his worst displays for the Red Devils.

Stones, on Saturday night, turned provider for opponents Southampton, as his poor back pass gifted Nathan Redmond a 27th-minute opener. City were under the cosh from that moment on, chasing the game, but managed to salvage a point thanks to a Kelechi Iheanacho strike.

Both Smalling and Stones will be looking to put the weekend’s performance behind them and put on a good show in the derby.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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