Former Arsenal star Martin Keown has suggested in The Daily Mail that Chris Smalling against Christian Benteke will be a key battle in the Premier League game between Manchester United and Liverpool on Saturday.
United will take on bitter rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford in what is arguably the biggest fixture in English football.
There will be a number of individual battles over the course of the 90 minutes, and one in particular has caught former Arsenal star Keown’s attention.
The Arsenal great believes that United defender Smalling will find it tough to contain Liverpool striker Benteke.
Keown has suggested that the Red Devils centre-back should use the tactics West Ham United defender Angelo Ogbonna used against the Belgium international at Anfield before the international break.
“In terms of key battles I’m interested to see how Chris Smalling deals with Christian Benteke,” the former Arsenal star wrote in The Daily Mail.
“Smalling has started the season very well but Benteke is a tough test. Angelo Ogbonna was fantastic at dealing with him for West Ham.
“Sometimes if you have an honest challenge with Benteke he can out-jump you. Ogbonna used his body to try and stop Benteke getting off the ground in the first place.
“Liverpool didn’t go into Benteke nearly enough against West Ham but he could still be a match winner if Smalling doesn’t have the power to deal with him.”
In four Premier League appearances for United so far this season, Smalling has created one chance, has a pass accuracy of 87%, and has won 15 headers, two dribbles and six tackles.
Meanwhile, Benteke has scored goal and created seven chances in four Premier League matches for Liverpool so far this campaign.