United needs to match Villarreal’s result at Celtic in order to win their Champions League group.
Rafael has impressed for United in the Premier League and Champions League this season.
He said: “Gary Neville will certainly play tomorrow.
“I felt he was outstanding against Blackburn in the Carling Cup last week and we are doing exactly the right thing by not rushing him back.
“But he knows exactly what happens when a young player like Rafael breaks into the club.
“When they have such outstanding ability and show such outstanding form there is not a lot you can do about it.
“It’s a great aspect of the game that a young boy can turn the corner and take someone’s place. At the moment the performances of Rafael have been keeping Gary out.”
Fergie continued on Rafael: “He took that game at Arsenal by the scruff of the neck. He came on with an urgency to win the match for us.
“Every time the ball went on that side of the pitch it was like a rat up a drainpipe. It was all done at electric speed.
“It was marvellous to see a young kid play like that in such a big game. Then his performance against City convinced us they boy is ready for it all.
“He is coping with everything and obviously, our gut feeling has been justified.”