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Van Gaal critical of Christmas fixtures

United are preparing to embark on six league matches in December, starting with the visit of Stoke City to Old Trafford on Tuesday.

The Manchester club will also play three Premier League games in the space of eight days over Christmas - Aston Villa (December 20), Newcastle United (December 26) and Tottenham (December 28).

Southampton boss Ronald Koeman was scathing of the heavy fixture list last week, labelling it as "crazy".

And while the situation is far from ideal for Van Gaal and his players, the Dutchman is willing to adapt to life in England's top flight.

"I cannot change it, I don't think it is good for the players that they play within two days of a match," said Van Gaal.

"December shall be like that, and we have also family. I also have a wife, and kids and grandchildren and I cannot see them at Christmas. 

"But, I want to work in the Premier League so I have to adapt and I shall adapt."

United - fourth in the table - host Stoke after winning three straight games.