Sir Alex Ferguson welcomes Rafael's return as Manchester United look to extend gap at the top with win over Everton

Red Devils boss has to wait on Darren Fletcher's fitness while Dimitar Berbatov has a slight groin strain ahead of game with David Moyes' side at Old Trafford on Saturday

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed full-back Rafael could make his return to action against Everton on Saturday, yet the league leaders will have to wait for the return of Darren Fletcher.

United's Brazilian right-back injured his hamstring in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Chelsea, but his return could be timely for Ferguson’s men, who face Schalke in the semi-final in midweek.

Ferguson is also hopeful that midfield man Fletcher could be fit the second leg of that tie on May 4 after suffering from a virus that has sidelined him for seven weeks.

Ferguson told reporters on Friday: "Darren is back training now. He has done a good week and might be available in 10 days' time.

"Rafael is back in the squad on Saturday and we will see what Dimitar Berbatov is like because he has a slight groin strain."

The Scotsman, however, is fully focused on Saturday’s game with Everton at Old Trafford, a clash in which he expects his side to secure victory despite hailing the achievements of Toffee’s boss David Moyes.

“Everton have done exceptionally well," Ferguson continued. "David Moyes has had to cope with a mountain of injuries over the last few weeks but they have still churned out the results.

"It is never going to be easy against Everton. It is a local derby of sorts. But our home record is fantastic and so is our performance level."

United are currently six points clear at the top of the table with five games to go, yet still have to face Arsenal at the Emirates on May 1 and then welcome Chelsea a week later in what could be two season-defining fixtures.

"It is good to know someone is behind you," Ferguson added. "You have to recognise who is there because we cannot become complacent.

"In that sense we use our experience of years past in situations like this. Hopefully it will get us where we want to go."

"If we win tomorrow, we will only have four games left and we will have a six point lead," he added.

"That is the way I am looking at it. I am not looking beyond that."

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