Manchester United 'almost guaranteed a Champions League place' - Verheijen

Louis van Gaal - suited and booted

One of Louis van Gaal's coaches has tipped United to return to the elite of European football and challenge for the title in his first season.

One of the men who has worked under Louis van Gaal, Raymond Verheijen has said that Manchester United are almost guaranteed a Champions League place under their new manager.

Van Gaal takes charge at Old Trafford following a poor season for United under David Moyes with the aim of getting Manchester United back into Europe's top club competition, along with challenging for the title - after they finished 22 points behind the eventual champions Manchester City last season.

The current Netherlands boss has a big reputation having won domestic titles in his home country, Spain and Germany, and Verheijen has tipped Manchester United to challenge for the Premier League title.

Verheijen, who has worked under van Gaal in the youth set-up for the Netherlands. told TalkSport: “If you look at what happened when he went to Barcelona and Bayern Munich, he implemented a big cultural change and won the title in his first season.

“That’s what you always see with Van Gaal. In the first part of the season his teams struggle a little bit, because of the changes, but in the second part of the season, they go on and win the title.

Man United’s relatively easy first six games will help him with all the changes he’s trying to make. They’re almost guaranteed a Champions League place.”

United start life under their new boss with a home game against Swansea City before trips to Sunderland and Burnley. They then host Queens Park Rangers at Old Trafford before travelling to Leicester City, and for their sixth match of the campaign they host West Ham United.

In all six of those games, you would expected United to be favourites, but there can be some surprises at the early stages of the season - and there is expectation of a title challenge in the Dutchman's first season at the helm at Old Trafford. There comes a lot of pressure with the job, but as van Gaal's track record has shown so far during his career, it's something he seems to relish.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch