Louis van Gaal believes that Manchester United will be in the title race once more if they beat Chelsea.
United travel to Chelsea on Sunday after two straight victories, beating Derby 3-1 in the FA Cup fourth round and Stoke 3-0 in the Premier League in midweek.
Van Gaal’s side have won five of their seven games in all competitions at the start of 2016, but are five points behind fourth-placed Arsenal in the race for Champions League qualification, as well as a further five points off the pace of leaders Leicester.
However, the Dutchman feels that victory over Chelsea, who they have not beaten in their last nine meetings, could reignite a title challenge.
“We have the feeling because we are winning two times in a row and with sparkling football, goals and clean sheets,” Van Gaal said. “This against opponents in great form – Stoke City played Liverpool off the pitch in the Capital One Cup, for example, even though they lost with penalties. They were big victories so that shall give a boost to the players. You can see that in training.
“We have to show it though, in a row of games that you win because in this competition anything is possible.
“Now the players are coming back and they are fit again so I can continue how I have started the season this season.
“I feel that if we beat Chelsea – and that is not simple – our league [challenge] shall start again. That’s important.
“The competition is still not finished. It is not finished for Manchester United and not for other teams.”