Premier League Saturday

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says his side cannot afford any more slip-ups if they are to qualify for the Champions League this season.

United are currently fifth in the Barclays Premier League, four points behind fourth-placed Arsenal with five games remaining and the Dutchman believes that anything less than a win against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford tomorrow evening will end their hopes.

“I have always an eye on the schedule of my team and I have to look if the load is not an overload for players,” he said.

“But this game against Crystal Palace is very important. We have to win, we need to win, otherwise we cannot close the gap.

“You can only give pressure by winning, so we can only look at ourselves.

“I cannot predict, that’s why you have to win your own games and then you shall see, but the experience in the Premier League is that our competitors are losing also.”

United are still hopeful of landing some silverware this season as they prepare to take on Everton in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday, but Van Gaal is fully concentrated on league matters for now.

“For us it is too important to rotate because of freshness for the semi-final. For me, now, the most important thing is to beat Crystal Palace. To speak about the semi-final against Everton isn’t appropriate,” he added.

“The most important thing is to win this game.

“I have already explained why we must win to close the gap, otherwise the gap is too big for the amount of matches we have to play.”


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