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 By Mike Whalley

Rodgers' warning for Louis van Gaal

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has warned Louis van Gaal to expect a tough first season in charge at Manchester United.

Van Gaal has won all five of his preseason matches since taking the United job -- including a 3-1 victory over Rodgers' side in the International Champions Cup final in Miami on Monday.

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The former Netherlands boss faces the task of revitalising a United side that finished seventh in the Premier League last season -- their lowest finish since 1990.

He arrives at Old Trafford having won league titles in three countries: the Netherlands with Ajax, Spain with Barcelona and Germany with Bayern Munich.

But Rodgers, who guided Liverpool to second place in the Premier League last season, thinks England will provide a very different challenge.

The Liverpool manager told British national newspapers: "I think what he'll find is the competition in this league will be different from any other league that he's worked in.

"In a lot of the other leagues, there are one or two teams, and those are the teams that are expected to win.

"This is a league where the top team plays the bottom team and on any given day you can lose. You don't get that a lot in the other leagues.

"I think the competition will probably take him by surprise, and that's from foreign managers I have spoken to over the years.

"I've worked closely with foreign players who have come in and that real physical competitive nature will be different from anywhere else he's worked before."

Rodgers has also urged Van Gaal to be wary of United's owners, the Glazer family, who sacked previous manager David Moyes in April less than 10 months into a six-year contract.

Brendan Rodgers is tipping Louis van Gaal to have a tough time, despite United's flawless preseason record.

"I think there were a lot of things at Manchester United that were not seen by many," Rodgers said.

"He [Moyes] had to go in and where I felt for him is that he thought he was getting time.

"All of a sudden when it's not as hunky-dory as people think it is, you don't get that opportunity. He signed a long-term deal and thought he had that longevity to do his work."

Both Manchester clubs, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool will expect to chase England's four Champions League qualification spots in the new season, while Everton and Tottenham also have ambitions in that direction.

And that is why Rodgers expects matters at the top end of the Premier League to be fiercely fought over the next nine months.

He said: "I think it's going to be really as competitive. Last season was great, and right the way through there were four or five teams right up there. Then, in the closing months, it narrowed down a wee bit.

"The Premier League, historically, is a very competitive league. Man United will want to bounce back, Chelsea will be strong, Manchester City are the champions so they'll be the favourites.

"Tottenham have been up there the last couple of seasons. When Harry Redknapp was there, they were a Champions League team.

"So the numbers are there to make it really competitive again and difficult to forecast."


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