United are paying the price for a slow start under the Dutchman, but 10 points from five matches have boosted the morale at Old Trafford ahead of the visit of the leaders.
Angel di Maria is likely to overcome a thigh problem to start against the Blues, while Ander Herrera has been declared fit despite aggravating a rib problem in the 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion on Monday night.
Van Gaal must also decide whether to recall striker Radamel Falcao, who was relegated to the substitutes' bench for the last game.
The Spanish international, who has scored nine goals in as many games since his move from Atletico Madrid, has been suffering with a hamstring problem and a virus but he could make the bench after returning to training on Friday.
Filipe Luis will start at left-back after Cesar Azpilicueta was sent off in the 2-1 win at Crystal Palace last Saturday, while Thibaut Courtois and Gary Cahill will return after being rested for the Champions League triumph over Maribor.
Manchester United: DWLWWD
Possible starting lineups
Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Jones, Rojo, Shaw; Blind, Herrera, Mata, Di Maria; Falcao, Van Persie
Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Luis; Matic, Fabregas; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Drogba
Sports Mole says: 2-2