McQueen feels the pair can prove they can be the future for United against Liverpool's much-vaunted attack.
“Playing against Suarez and Sturridge is a phenomenal opportunity for Smalling and Jones to prove their worth in those roles,” McQueen told the Manchester Evening News.
“The Liverpool pair are the hottest strikers in Britain. They are a nightmare to play against because they have everything.
“As a defender if you know a player is good in the air you can combat that threat because you are ready for it. If they want to go through you then you are prepared for that. But these two are clever and have imagination. They are scoring every week and defenders throughout the Premier League have struggled to contain them.
“If Chris and Phil have designs on becoming the future centre-halves for United then this is the chance to show it. I don’t know whether they can do it simply because, like everyone else, I have not seen them enough as a partnership to decide.
“When they’ve played at right-back or in midfield and they’ve been criticised they’ve often come back with the fact they see themselves as central defenders, well this could be the chance to prove it.
“If they can keep this pair quiet on Sunday and get a clean sheet for United then it will make people sit up. Fans could then be talking about them as the pairing to be the next Vidic and Ferdinand.
“There has been too much chopping and changing at the back this season but if they could do a job on Suarez and Sturridge then they could get a run together.
“I still think Jonny Evans has a big part to play but at the moment it could be Chris and Phil who’ll get the first chance to show what they can do.”
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