Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Chris Smalling: Manchester United will cope better with high-pressure situations this season

Chris Smalling: Manchester United will cope better with high-pressure situations this season

However, Tottenham have become the first Premier League club not to sign a player since transfer windows were introduced in 2003, with their primary target Jack Grealish remaining an Aston Villa player.

Liverpool have splashed out £175m on new faces while Chelsea and Arsenal could be surprise packages under their respective new managers.

"Last season they were runners-up in the league and FA Cup runners-up and okay, that's not good enough for Manchester United but I don't think it's as bad as people have painted it".

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Leicester City will adopt a more possession-based game this season instead of their traditional counter-attacking style but will not find the transition easy when they visit Manchester United on Friday, goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has said.

But despite both clubs' worries, Barnes has backed them to retain their places in the Champions League.

"I told that during pre-season it looked like I was saying something absolutely out of order, something insane, I repeat and maybe tomorrow the reaction is the same: Pre-season hard when you don't have your players to work, as simple as that".

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"I actually think Liverpool will get the closest".

"They got Naby Keita, Fabinho, Xherdan Shaqiri - they've done their business early".

Speaking in an interview with BBC Sport, Kilbane said: "I have tipped City because of the way they played last season, and how they play but it would not surprise me if Liverpool won the league". City are a really good side, great manager, some great players, a way of playing that they all know about and Manchester United seem to be not too sure what's going on.

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When asked if he was happy for City to be favourites, he said: "Since nine years I live with that situation, it's no problem".


Though the former dressing room exuded history and reminiscence of the glory years under Sir Alex Ferguson, most United fans will be in no doubt that the home players' changing room needed a solid do-over.

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