We run the rule over United stars' prospects of playing at the World Cup finals next year...
United players: Anderson (8 caps), Fabio (2 caps), Rafael (2 caps)
Chances of qualifying: As hosts, Brazil have already qualified for next summer’s tournament and they are also favourites to lift the trophy at the end of it. After disappointment at the quarter-final stage in 2010, it was something of a surprise when Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side outclassed Spain to win the Confederations Cup earlier this year. But on home turf in 2014, many are tipping them to reproduce the form they showed in June.
How have the Reds’ contingent contributed so far? Fabio and Rafael played no part in the Selecao’s Confederations Cup victory and face stiff competition in the squad from La Liga’s Marcelo and Dani Alves respectively. Midfielder Anderson has been blighted by injuries at Old Trafford and his lack of playing time for United has been mirrored at international level, where he faces a battle to regain his place.
Situation at United? After picking up a hamstring strain during the Community Shield triumph back in August, Rafael is nearing a return to first-team action. Fabio is also hoping to impress new manager David Moyes and work his way back into the fold, having returned from his loan at Queens Park Rangers at the end of last season. Anderson has been named as a substitute in all three of United’s league games so far and will now contend with Marouane Fellaini for a place in the Reds’ midfield.
Likelihood of being involved in the squad? With Brazil facing no qualifiers ahead of next year’s World Cup, the trio now have a full season of domestic football to catch Scolari’s eye. There can be no greater incentive than representing the hosts in the tournament so, with the right approach, there’s every chance for United’s men.
More World Cup prospects: Hernandez's Mexico | De Gea's Spain | Henriquez's Chile