More than just 11 players: Injury-rocked Man Utd ‘confident’ for Chelsea trip, says Van Gaal

Manchester United will be missing four players who started last week’s 4-1 derby triumph for their crucial clash with Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Louis van Gaal confirmed he will be without Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Daley Blind and Michael Carrick who all picked up injuries during their sixth straight league victory.



However, in form forward Juan Mata will feature as United look to cause an upset at Stamford Bridge, where the Spaniard spent three and a half seasons.

“We will be confident. It’s not only one line up that can play our philosophy so we have a lot of confidence now,” said Van Gaal.

“The challenge is bigger than big, it will be very difficult. I think Chelsea will be satisfied with a draw but of course they want to beat us and we want to beat them..

“Normally I always put players in the line up if they have played for the opponent, so I think Mata should play.”

Van Gaal admitted that the absence of vice-captain means that Wayne Rooney may have to drop into midfield.

Three injuries to United’s back line means England international Luke Shaw should make his return from injury, but the game will come to soon for Robin van Persie.

One man who will play is goalkeeper David De Gea who was nominated for both the PFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards this week.

The Spaniard has attracted attention from Real Madrid after an outstanding season for United, and his manager was quick to praise his achievements this year.

“I think De Gea deserves it very much because he is very important for Manchester United and I am very happy for him,” added the former Barcelona manager.

Victory on Saturday would see United move just five points behind Chelsea and leave them with an outside chance of claiming a fourteenth Premier League title.



But more importantly it would lift them 11 points clear of fifth-placed Liverpool and all but finalise their place in the Champions League next season.

Main image courtesy of BBC via YouTube, with thanks.

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