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Given impresses, Walters struggles

Stoke City
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Smalling on road to recovery

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling is optimistic that he will be fit in time for the start of the 2012-13 season.

• Smalling ruled out of Euro 2012

Smalling, 22, suffered a groin injury in United's 2-0 win over Swansea in the penultimate game of last season and the issue ultimately ruled him out of England's Euro 2012 campaign.

The former Fulham player is progressing well in his recovery, though, and anticipates he will be ready for the beginning of the new term, when the Red Devils will look to reclaim the title off rivals City.

He said: "It wasn't the best time to get injured but I have been cheering on England just like the public. I am doing rehab now and I am feeling good. I am hoping to be back for the start of the season - that is the aim."

Smalling is also eager to wrestle the title from City's grasp, having watched on from the sidelines as their Manchester rivals claimed a dramatic final day success.

He added: "It was heartbreak for all of us, but it is going to drive us on even more. We are going to be driven to make sure we take the title back off City."

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