Manchester United vs Wolfsburg: Louis van Gaal claims 'rat race' Premier League hampers European chances

Even rotating the squad is not simple, says Dutchman 

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The Independent Football

Louis van Gaal has suggested English teams are at a disadvantage to their Champions League rivals due to the competitiveness of the "rat race" that is the Premier League.

Manchester United lost their opening Champions League game, to PSV Eindhoven, meaning they are desperate for three points when they entertain German outfit Wolfsburg at Old Trafford this week.

However Van Gaal, who saw his side move to the top of the league at the weekend, has suggested his side are up against it due to the demands of their domestic commitments.

"The Premier League is a very difficult league. To beat your opponent every week is not easy, it is always a struggle and a battle," the Dutchman told the club's website.

"Then you have to play again mid-week in the Champions League and that is the difference between all the clubs in Europe.

"It is not predictable to say four teams in the Premier League shall overcome this group stage round, no, it is not like that.

"But I have to say that we have the teams to do it and we have the quality to do it."


Squad rotation is essential to European success, but even ringing the changes will not guarantee that English sides are fresher than their European counterparts, Van Gaal added.

"The difficulty is that all these (Premier League) players are in a rat race and that takes a lot out of the players, which is why you have to rotate and that is what I am doing now because I have to protect my players.

"I say we have to play Sunday-Tuesday, Sunday-Wednesday, so between the matches we cannot recover all of the tiredness.

"Then we have to play against a European squad who is willing to give everything against us.

"They don't have a rat race in their competition and that is the difference."


Manchester United take on Wolfsburg on Wednesday.