Rafael joins Wayne Rooney on the Manchester United sidelines after suffering bruising to his knee in Wednesday's Champions League victory over Chelsea.
Rooney begins a two-match suspension.
John O'Shea (hamstring) is available again, however, as is Wes Brown, who suffered what Sir Alex Ferguson described as "a knock" against Bolton last month.
Damien Duff (Achilles) is a doubt for Fulham but Aaron Hughes is expected to be involved after showing no ill-effects from a heavy blow to the head against Blackpool last weekend.
Bobby Zamora has recovered from a bout of illness and is expected to figure after netting twice against Blackpool last weekend.
Manchester United (from): Van der Sar, Kuszczak, O'Shea, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Smalling, Fabio, Evra, Valencia, Obertan, Park, Gibson, Anderson, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs, Nani, Berbatov, Hernandez, Owen.
Fulham (from): Schwarzer, Baird, Hangeland, Hughes, Salcido, Etuhu, Duff, Davies, Murphy, Sidwell, Dempsey, Dembele, Zamora, Johnson, Stockdale, Kelly, Gudjohnsen, Kakuta.