New Manchester United manager David Moyes has expressed his disbelief at the club's fixture list ahead of the new Premier League season.
Following their opening day trip to South Wales to face Michael Laudrup's Swansea on Saturday, the Old Trafford club then host Chelsea on August 26 before visiting Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool the following weekend.
As if that wasn't a tough enough start to their title defence, the Manchester United must also travel across Manchester to face rivals City, now under the guidance of Manuel Pellegrini, on September 22.
And Moyes, who is embarking upon his first season in charge at Old Trafford following the exit of Sir Alex Ferguson at the end of the 2012/13 campaign, hasn't hidden his obvious irritation at the number of difficult game facing his side in the next few weeks.
"I find it hard to believe that's the way the balls came out of the bag, that's for sure," he said.
"I hope it's not because Manchester United won the league quite comfortably last year [that] the fixtures have been made much more difficult."
United's confidence ahead of the new season was boosted last weekend at Wembley where two goals from Dutch maestro Robin van Persie was enough earn the club a 2-0 victory over Championship outfit Wigan Athletic in the Community Shield.
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