EPL title could have been ours - Louis van Gaal

Paul Hirst 11:47 26/04/2015
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Tough Toffees: Marouane Fellaini (c) and United edged old club Everton 2-1 in October.

Louis van Gaal thinks Manchester United may have won the Premier League this year had it not been for their wretched start to the campaign.

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Table toppers Chelsea stretched their lead over third-placed United to 11 points last weekend with a 1-0 victory over the Red Devils at Stamford Bridge.

Eden Hazard grabbed all three points for the Blues with a 38th-minute winner, but there was little between the teams and Van Gaal is already plotting to overthrow the champions elect next season.

And he says had it not been for a poor run of three wins in their opening 10 games, it could have been United running away with the title in April, rather than Chelsea.

“Yes, we had a very bad start,” the United manager told MUTV when asked if he wondered what might have been this season.

“I have already explained that after several matches why so I don’t have to repeat myself but if we had started well, we could have been the champions.”

Meanwhile, Everton’s Steven Pienaar is a major doubt for the hosts today with muscle fatigue.

However, fellow midfielders Leon Osman (groin) and James McCarthy (ankle) both returned to training and should be available.

Striker Romelu Lukaku reported no after-effects from his first appearance in a month last weekend.

Defenders Phil Jones (ankle), Marcos Rojo (adductor) and Rafael (rib) are out and midfielder Michael Carrick (calf) is also unavailable.

Centre-back Jonny Evans returns from suspension, but there are doubts over midfield duo Daley Blind (ankle) and Adnan Januzaj (ankle).

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