Many pundits would fancy Rafael ‚Äď one of United‚Äôs best performers this term - to reclaim his place from Chris Smalling on Sunday.
‚ÄúEvery player wants to be involved, derbies are always great games to be a part of,‚ÄĚ acknowledged Rafael in Inside United. ‚ÄúIt will be huge, as it is every time we play them now. It‚Äôs funny, though ‚Äď I remember when I first joined United, the game against City was just a normal match. It wasn‚Äôt any bigger or smaller than most other fixtures, but now it‚Äôs probably the biggest one on the calendar. We‚Äôre hoping to get a good result there.‚ÄĚ
While some might think City‚Äôs exit from Europe this week will give them an advantage in the 2013 title race, Rafael insists the Reds are also greatly focused on the league. ‚ÄúAt United we start the season wanting to win every competition we play in," he said. "But the league is special. Winning it is an incredible feeling and we want to feel that again. It‚Äôs important to us this season and we‚Äôll battle as hard as we can to make sure we lift the trophy.‚ÄĚ