Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho: Man United can still win Premier League

Jose Mourinho says Manchester United are still involved in the Premier League title race, while insisting Chelsea will not play it safe against Louis van Gaal's side on Saturday.

Chelsea are currently seven points clear of second-placed Arsenal at the top of the table and eight ahead of United, having played a game less than both clubs.

Mourinho was asked at a news conference on Friday whether United's run of six straight league wins means they can challenge for the title next year, only for the Portuguese to state that Van Gaal's side are very much involved this season.

"They are fighting for the title [now]," Mourinho said. "Read what their players feel and say -- they're fighting for the title. They are doing that already."

When asked whether Chelsea would prepare specially for the physicality of Marouane Fellaini, Mourinho said they would concentrate on winning the game themselves and denied they would play defensively. Van Gaal had said earlier on Friday that Chelsea would be content to play for a draw at Stamford Bridge.

"We want to win the game," Mourinho said. "All our plans are in that direction. The safest option is to win 11 points [to win the title]. We can't do that in [the next] two matches, but in seven. We go for them and change nothing.

"If we beat Man United we go 11 points [ahead of them]. But if and no ifs. Tomorrow at 7.30 p.m. [BST] we know the result and the distance between us and Man United. No ifs. Speaking about what if, what if, what if, it's not helpful. I want to win. It's the way I approach it: I want to win.

"What is in my mind is to try and win the three points tomorrow. That's what crosses my mind. We know three results are possible, but we are just thinking about winning the game tomorrow. After the result tomorrow, we will see what happens. But we think match after match and try to win the match we have."

Mourinho said that United's current injury problems would not affect them too much as he pointed to what he considers an "amazing" depth to their squad. Van Gaal will be without Michael Carrick, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Daley Blind on Saturday.

"I disagree [it will affect them] because their squad is amazing -- in numbers, players, experience, solutions," Mourinho said. "Their squad is amazing.

"Every week, I have in my office not the team I'm going to play against, but on the big screen the squad and all the options. This week, when I arrived in the room, for the first time in the week, I realised what they have. It's amazing.

"Van Gaal is a fantastic coach to develop players. The kids played a lot of matches and are more than ready. I went to Queens Park Rangers with [Didier] Drogba and no strikers on the bench. And, for a long time, because of suspensions or injuries or your suspensions -- I don't forget that you decided who was suspended -- we were in trouble.

"You have to cope with it. I know Mr Van Gaal very well, and he's the kind of person to think at this moment, 'we have a fantastic squad and will go with what we have.' Injuries are part of the game."

Mourinho also said he would not need any special motivation on Saturday due to the identity of the opposition.

"To play Man United is to play against one of the biggest clubs in the world, one of the best teams in the Premier League. And I think this is what everybody wants," he said.

"This week, I was not worried about motivating players or demanding players to be focused on the game and the opponent, because there is no need. It's an easy job. It is a special fixture, a big match.

"You have to play against everyone and you have to play home and away, and our fight is always to have the same motivation, the same ambition, regardless of the opponent. It's always our fight.

"But these matches are the easy ones, the ones every player wants to play in, is desperate to play in, is focused to play in. These are the matches everyone likes."

Saturday's clash also marks Juan Mata's first return to Chelsea since leaving for United in January 2014.

Despite opting to let the player leave for Old Trafford, Mourinho said he only wishes him the best.

"He's a player with a history in this club. Every player in this club has deep respect for him as a player, as does the manager," he said. "We all wished him the best when he left. We are all happy with him: a very correct boy, a total professional. We're happy things are going well with him."