Andre Villas-Boas claimed his Chelsea bosses really would have lost the plot if he ended up being judged on the outcome of Sunday's Premier League clash at Manchester United.

Villas-Boas insisted nothing would be decided by this weekend's showdown at Old Trafford in terms of the title race and also played down the significance of his first touchline confrontation with Sir Alex Ferguson.

Sunday's game arguably represents the biggest challenge of Villas-Boas' fledgling managerial career.

The 33-year-old has been at the top of his profession for barely two years and will be squaring off against a man who will celebrate a jaw-dropping 25 years in charge of United in less than two months.

That will not prevent Villas-Boas coming under fire if Chelsea are beaten on Sunday but the Portuguese prodigy branded any resultant pressure from above as unjustified.

"Any manager who is judged after five games of a season, there's not something wrong with the manager but something wrong with the people who run clubs," said Villas-Boas, who is all too aware Roman Abramovich is not the most patient of owners.

Defeat would see Chelsea slip five points behind United, with a victory putting them a point clear.

Yet Villas-Boas, who looked as relaxed at his pre-match press conference as at any point since taking charge of the Blues this summer, said: "Anything that comes out of this game won't mean anything.

"It might play to the motivation to the team who wins, or both if we draw, but let's wait and see."

United have flown out of the blocks this season, breaking Chelsea's record-breaking start by notching 18 goals in four straight Premier League wins.

"It's for all of us to praise when a team starts the way they have," said Villas-Boas, whose Stamford Bridge career has begun in a decidedly more low-key fashion.

"We have made a good, strong start in the Premier League.

"This game comes at a good time for us. Both teams feel very motivated and strong, so hopefully this will be enough for the spectacle to be excellent, which all of us should hope for.

"When there is this high expectancy for a game, sometimes things go the other way and it's boring and tactical.

"But that's not the culture of the Premier League.

"It will be a high-intensity game fuelled by emotion."

Those emotions can spill over to the touchline but Villas-Boas was keen to play down the impact he or Ferguson would have on Sunday's proceedings.

"I don't think it can be reduced to two managers taking on each other," he said.

"Our importance in the game is minimal.

"It's for the players to exploit their talents and enjoy their game."

Villas-Boas had only just turned nine when Ferguson took charge at Old Trafford and did not become aware of the 69-year-old's incredible exploits until much later.

"I don't even remember how old I was when he took charge," Villas-Boas said.

"I was in love with my Porto and didn't have enough football knowledge to extend myself.

"My love for the Premier League started when it started casting itself wider a bit more."

Villas-Boas admitted he never could have imagined he would end up pitting his wits against one of the great managers, someone whose achievements he is on course to emulate if he continues collecting silverware at the rate he did at Porto.

But the Premier League is a whole new ball game and his first top-flight defeat in 17 months is a very real prospect on Sunday.

"There's the prospect I might lose any game," shrugged Villas-Boas, who looks certain to recall captain John Terry and vice-captain Frank Lampard this weekend.

The toughest decision he faces is, of course, whether to keep faith with the misfiring Fernando Torres or recall Nicolas Anelka.

"Let's wait and see," Villas-Boas said.

"I will not help you with your obsession with my striker!"

He added: "My worst day is the day I have to make selections and I have to pick my team first, then the 18.

"When everybody is so good, you can almost become sentimental, but it takes a bit of my heart out."