FOOTBALL NEWS

21/12/2012 12:30, Report by B Hibbs & A Marshall

Rafael still out for Swansea trip

Rafael misses United’s trip to Swansea on Sunday, while Jonny Evans is available again and Nemanja Vidic is set to be named on the bench after his comeback from a knee injury.

Brazilian right-back Rafael missed the 3-1 win over Sunderland last weekend with a hamstring strain and he will not be risked for the trip to Wales. Vidic was a second-half substitute against the Black Cats in his first outing since September, but he is unlikely to play from the start.

Evans, who has just signed a new contract, suffered a groin injury at Manchester City but is available for selection. Elsewhere, Nani is still suffering from a hamstring injury and will not travel, while Shinji Kagawa is due to start training next week.

“Jonny has had one or two injuries but hopefully they're behind him now,” the boss said at his pre-match press conference. “He's fit for Sunday, while Kagawa takes training with the first team on Monday.

“Vida is doing great in training, it's just a matter of picking the time to bring him back. It gives me options with Smalling, Jones, Ferdinand, Evans. It's very good, and better for us. Rafa won't make Sunday's game as he's still out with a hamstring. Nani is still injured. Apart from those players, we're all right.”

Sir Alex isn't expecting an easy game against Swansea. "You've seen the results they have had and the progress they have made as a football club over the last years," he said. "The important thing for me is that they try to play and have the courage to play their football. At this time of year, all the games are challenges and they come thick and fast now. Utilising the squad is important, as is picking the right team, but hopefully we can get through it and be in the same position as we are now."

More - Evans signs new deal | Swansea v United preview

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