Rafael returns for Red Devils

Rafael is in contention to face Everton at Old Trafford after

injuring his hamstring in the first leg of the Champions League

quarter-final defeat of Chelsea. It is good news for United given

they tackle German outfit Schalke in the semi-final next week,

knowing Scotland skipper Darren Fletcher might be back for the

decisive second leg on May 4. Fletcher has been absent for almost

seven weeks with a virus but has now returned to training and

Ferguson expects his countryman to be available within a matter of

days. “Darren is back training now,” he said. “He has done a good

week and might be available in 10 days’ time. “Rafael is back in

the squad on Saturday and we will see what Dimitar Berbatov is like

because he has a slight groin strain.” In theory, Saturday

represents one of the easier fixtures of the season. Everton have

not won a league game at Old Trafford since 1992, during which time

they have only managed a couple of draws. However, after a

difficult start to the season, David Moyes’ side are top of the

form table and even retain an outside chance of landing a Europa

League spot, although that would depend on Manchester City

finishing outside the top four. “Everton have done exceptionally

well,” said Ferguson, whose side blew a two-goal lead in stoppage

time at Goodison Park in September when the Toffeemen grabbed a 3-3

draw. “David Moyes has had to cope with a mountain of injuries over

the last few weeks but they have still churned out the results. “It

is never going to be easy against Everton. It is a local derby of

sorts. “But our home record is fantastic and so is our performance

level.” Although United dropped two more points on the road at

Newcastle on Tuesday, immediately after the disappointment of

losing their high-profile FA Cup semi-final to Manchester City,

United have failed to win just once on home soil this season, when

they let a two-goal lead slip against West Brom in October. With

the only two sides who could deny them a record 19th league title

still to play – Arsenal at the Emirates on May 1 and Chelsea at Old

Trafford seven days later – it could be argued tomorrow’s result is

irrelevant. It is not a view Ferguson shares. “If we win tomorrow,

we will only have four games left and we will have a six point

lead,” he said. “That is the way I am looking at it. I am not

looking beyond that.”