In-form Man Utd defender Chris Smalling keen to prove his worth

England Chris Smalling Euro 2016

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Manchester United defender Chris Smalling hopes he is given the chance to shine at international level when England take on Italy in a friendly on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old former Fulham star did not feature in Friday’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania, which Roy Hodgson’s team won 4-0, but did play in the victory against Scotland four months ago when he won his 15th cap.

After making an inconsistent start to the season with United, Smalling has put together a run of impressive displays for Louis van Gaal’s side, and is keen to become an England regular.

He said: “I think the Italy match will be one of my biggest games. When you get to play against opposition of that calibre it is one that I will be relishing.

“I feel like I am in the form of my career and the manager has shown a lot of faith in me. I have stayed fit the last couple of months and I am enjoying my football.

“When you play against a top European opposition like Italy we will learn more than we did on Friday night.”

England lost 2-1 to Italy in Brazil last summer, the opening game of their World Cup campaign which ended prematurely when they failed to progress from the group.

However, Hodgson’s side have won all seven games since their World Cup exit, including their five Euro 2016 qualifiers and are already virtually guaranteed a place in the 24-team tournament.

“We are being ruthless and are together. Teams will be frightened and hopefully again on Tuesday we can show that,” Smalling added.

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