Manchester: Louis van Gaal believes Manchester United can still force their way into the Premier League title race after playing "sparkling football" in their last two games.

Chelsea manager Guss Hiddink and Man Utd manager Louis van Gaal
Chelsea manager Guss Hiddink and Man Utd manager Louis van Gaal

United manager van Gaal has been under pressure for much of the season due to his team's dour performances and inconsistent results. But the Dutchman believes a victory at Chelsea today would underline why he is so confident and set United up for a late challenge to the top four clubs.

United are still five points behind fourth-placed Arsenal. However, van Gaal's side have lost only one of their last eight games in all competitions and, after beating Derby 3-1 in the FA Cup, produced one of their best performances of the season to defeat Stoke 3-0 in the league at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

"We don't have to exaggerate but I have the feeling if we shall beat Chelsea, although that is very difficult because under Guus Hiddink they don't lose, then I think our league is starting again," van Gaal told reporters on Friday.

"Michael Carrick said to me and I have the same feeling, the competition is not yet finished, not for Manchester United or the other teams."

Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink meanwhile, maintained his team is ona comeback trail. Hiddink said: "We're getting back a bit on track, although I'd like to have a few more victories. The team is step by step more stable and now we hope to go into a beautiful spring time."