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Louis van Gaal says he already knows who will start against Spurs in season opener


Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal says summer signing Matteo Darmian will start against Tottenham Hotspur on August 8.

The Red Devils suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday but the Dutchman was still satisfied with his side's performance.

They host Mauricio Pochettino's men at Old Trafford for their first Premier League game on the season before facing Aston Villa away from home on August 14.

"I am really satisfied about the performance," van Gaal told reporters.

"Yeah, we lose, but maybe that is also good because last year we won everything [on tour] and then we lost the first match in the Premier League. Now the sequence is a little bit different. But I am not superstitious.

"In the first half we created more chances than Paris Saint-Germain. They only created chances with errors, personal errors, and you cannot fight against personal errors when you are playing at the top level.

"They can score out of these kinds of errors, and they can finish the game. You have seen in the second half when they played the ball wide and back, rather than up front. A top team can do that.

"But I have to say I have seen a lot of very good things from my team.

"So in the pre-season it is more about the performance than the result. I was rather satisfied. It is better when you win, of course. Against Barcelona, we could have been 2-0 down and we scored the first goal. Between top clubs, it is who scores the first goal. Then you have a great possibility to win the game.

"[For the August 8 game against Spurs] I have to start with the formation and when the formation is doing well, I let them pay in that formation.

"I think I shall play [Luke] Shaw with [Matteo] Darmian, and with Daley Blind. The right central position I have to consider. I am very pleased with the performance of Matteo Darmian, and you can see he can play on the right and left.

"Also, a benefit of this year's tour is that we don't have any injuries.

"Last year I was forced to use, for example, Tyler Blackett and Jesse Lingard in the first Premier League match.

"Now, I have a wider selection and I can use everybody who I think I have to use. There is more competition now and there is more balance in the selection. I have a lot of confidence to start the competition."

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Louis van Gaal