The Red Devils travel to Wales on Saturday to play Swansea at the Liberty Stadium, and then later play Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City with only a single home tie against new promoted Crystal Palace in between.
United defender Chris Smalling said:
We've got some big fixtures at the start of the season but if we can put on some really good performances and pick up a few points it's going to give us a big boost and set us apart from our rivals.
In one sense, it is good to get them out of the way.
The Swansea game has been in our minds for a while. Going into the season as champions brings an expectation.
We're seen as the best but we know we need to show it but we're firing and ready to go. We can't wait for that first whistle.
As the new 2013/14 season is about to start, competition for places begins to heat up again. In central defense United have many players that can fill that role comfortably, with the likes of Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, Rio Ferdinand, captain Nemanja Vidic, and Chris Smalling.
Smalling went onto say:
It does make it tough. When I first joined, there were a lot of center-backs and it was the same last season.
It makes it really competitive because everyone is looking for one of those two spots. It keeps us on our toes that's for sure.
I just want to stay injury fee. Being out was so frustrating. I don't think I played after Easter because of my foot.
It makes such a difference when you get a proper-season under your belt. Without it, you are catching up a little bit. I feel good at the moment. I'm not far off (being 100% match fit) now. I feel confident and it is just about getting that sharpness back.
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