Before Manchester United could even start their season they were dealt an injury blow when it was revealed that fullback Rafael da Silva will miss 10 weeks after dislocating his shoulder. The Brazilian was involved in a collision during training that will force him to miss the opening of the new season. It's a real blow for a player who was going to be asked to take a step forward this year and become the clear-cut first choice right back for the defending Premier League champions.
With Rafael set to miss until the end of October, United will turn to either Rafael's brother, Fabio, or Chris Smalling at right back. In their season opening match they have gone with Smalling at right back, although Fabio is in the team at left back so it might not be an indication of who Sir Alex Ferguson will choose going forward. Once Patrice Evra returns from injury and reclaims his left back position then Ferguson will have to choose between Fabio and Smalling in Rafael's absence.