Manchester United's top four hopes have taken another blow after Louis van Gaal revealed that a lot of players are suffering from a virus ahead of their clash against Crystal Palace on Saturday, 9 May.

The Red Devils are currently in the fourth place, and are just four points ahead of Liverpool, who are also desperate to qualify for the Champions League next season, and could catch their arch rivals if they slip up against Alan Pardew's men.

The Old Trafford club come into the game following their worst run in the Premier League, which has seen them lose three consecutive games in the league against Chelsea, Everton and most recently West Bromwich Albion. Moreover, they failed to score a single goal in any of those three games which is a cause for concern for the manager.

The Dutch manager has now admitted that not only a lot of players, but even he is suffering from a virus which affected the dressing room and this could hamper the players' performances as they look to put some distance between them and the Reds, who face newly-crowned league champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, 10 May.

"We have a virus in our dressing room," Van Gaal is quoted as saying by the London Evening Standard.

"I have a little bit of pain in the throat. (James) Wilson also has had that for one week but is recovering now. Maybe he can be on the bench (at Palace)," the former Bayern Munich manager explained.

"A lot of players are suffering (from it)."

In another blow to the club's hopes of a top four finish, the manager revealed that midfielder Michael Carrick, who has been a key player for the manager, has been ruled out for the rest of the campaign.