Rafael determined to overcome injury nightmare

by Richard Laverty

Manchester United right-back Rafael Da Silva is ready to return to first-team duties but expects to have to fight with Antonio Valencia for his place.

Rafael has played in his usual right-back spot this season but in his absence, Louis van Gaal has tested out a new 3-5-2 system in which both Valencia and Ashley Young have impressed.

With neither being proper full-backs, the return of Rafael and Luke Shaw in the last week should mean United can now revert to a flat back four which they’ve looked much more comfortable in this season.

The Brazilian had been missing from action for several months before his return against Newcastle and told MUTV he’s now ready to fight with Valencia for the right-back spot.

“When you get injured once or twice, it’s OK,” said the defender.

“But when you keep getting injured it’s so frustrating.I don’t want to speak about them.

“Antonio is one of my best friends here. But I want to fight with him for my spot. I can learn things from Antonio’s game. I want to score and assist too.”

Rafael had been in good form during a period when United were picking up good results at home earlier in the season, particularly impressing against Everton and West Ham in back-to-back 2-1 victories.

His return will be welcomed by the supporters in the hope their side can revert to four at he back as the side still look uncertain in the 3-5-2 system currently being deployed on the pitch.

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