David Moyes has confirmed that Rafael, Michael Carrick, Jonny Evans and Tom Cleverley are all in contention to start against Arsenal on Sunday after injuries ruled them out of the midweek tie against Real Sociedad.
Danny Welbeck is the only player who is definitely ruled out of the Arsenal game with his knee injury that is yet to subside but Moyes has kept tight lipped as to whether the quartet will return.
It is fantastic that they are back in contention because their presence could be crucial up against an in-form Arsenal side whose confidence is flowing. Without Carrick in our midfield, we always look significantly weaker and it is typically where games are won or lost in these big matches.
As for Rafael, United don’t have a natural replacement at right-back in his absence and we desperately need to get him back. Not only does he bring a lot to the team himself but the partnership he established with Antonio Valencia is still our most potent combination on the right hand side, so his return would be a real boost to the Ecuadorian if Moyes chose to start him on Sunday.
Prior to his back strain, Evans had been in brilliant form and Cleverley adds a passing dynamic to our side that no other midfielder can when he is playing well.
Moyes also reiterated that his main focus was to keep United’s current unbeaten streak of eight games going this weekend.
“We want to keep the results going and keep improving,” he said.
“We want to keep the run going. Arsenal’s form has been very good, but we’re trying to continue our momentum.
“Arsenal have the same chance to win the title as we all do. It’s a very open league.”
Moyes also responded to Wenger’s claims this morning that in his eyes Van Persie was still an Arsenal player.
He said: “He started in England at Arsenal but won the title here. I think people in Manchester see him as a Manchester United player.”