Fixtures: 5 Oct Sunderland A | 19 Oct Southampton H | 26 Oct Stoke City H
First thoughts: The title race gathers pace with the onset of Autumn.
Toughest test: Southampton were among the best teams to visit Old Trafford last term according to Sir Alex Ferguson and Mauricio Pochettino’s men are likely to provide another stern challenge this time around. With a great work ethic, bags of flair and plenty of spirit, they’re definitely a team to watch.
Subplot: United might face former players John O’Shea, Phil Bardsley and Wes Brown at the Stadium of Light before welcoming ex-Reds striker Mark Hughes back to the Theatre of Dreams - the 1991 Cup Winners’ Cup hero is, of course, the new Stoke City boss after the Potters parted company with Tony Pulis.
Miles to travel: 298
Last January: P3 W3 D0 L0 (Newcastle 0-3 United, United 4-2 Stoke, Chelsea 2-3 United)
Rivals watch: Man City: Everton H, West Ham A, Chelsea A; Chelsea: Norwich A, Cardiff City H, Man City H; Arsenal: West Brom A, Norwich H, Crystal Palace A.