was Swansea’s top scorer with 22 goals last season and, after the arrival of prolific Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony for a club-record £12million fee from Vitesse Arnhem last month, Laudrup’s side have a strikeforce to be reckoned with.
Betting: bwin are offering 14/1 on a Swansea half-time/draw full-time result, and you can get 25/1 if you think United will overturn a half-time deficit. Van Persie is 7/2 to be the first goalscorer, or why not plump for Wilfried Zaha at 9/1? Find more odds and place bets with the Reds' official online betting and gaming partner at www.manutd.com/bet.
Whistle blower: Phil Dowd took charge of two FA Cup games involving United last season – the third-round replay win over West Ham and the sixth-round replay defeat to Chelsea – as well as the 1-1 league draw at Arsenal in April.
Quote/unquote: "It’s never the right time to face a team like Manchester United. But we know we have to play them and playing them first is not bad for us." – Michael Laudrup
Rivals watch: In the opening round of fixtures, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool are all at home – to Newcastle, Hull, Aston Villa and Stoke respectively.
More: Reds ready to go at Swansea | Giggs: Title closer than ever