John Obi Mikel has warned Manchester United that Chelsea will capitalise on any dropped points from the champions in the race for the Premier league title.
United were held to a 2-2 draw at Middlesbrough on Sunday to leave them just three points ahead of Chelsea with five games remaining.
The Blues face United at Stamford Bridge later in April and Mikel accepts that is likely to be a decisive encounter.
But the Nigerian midfielder does not believe United will win all their other games and has urged his team-mates to keep the pressure on.
"Towards the end of the league, we play United at Stamford Bridge," said Mikel.
"I think that is going to be the deciding game, so we must keep winning as we wait for the big one."
Following last week's defeat to Fenerbahce in the UEFA Champions League, former Chelsea player Mateja Kezman alleged that Blues' team spirit was not as strong under Avram Grant as it had been when Jose Mourinho was in charge.
Mikel insists there is no problem in that department but believes the players will grow even more united if they can maintain their good form.
"We think the spirit is there, we just have to keep working hard," he urged.
"We lost in Turkey and everyone says the spirit is not there. Now we have won - and I guess the spirit is back.
"It looks very much like it's between us and United now. We know United are a good team but we know they are going to drop points.
"And, like Joe Cole said recently, we are the silent killers. We have to keep coming and keep coming by winning games."