FOOTBALL NEWS

18/06/2014 09:55, Report by Tim Oscroft
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Reds can hit ground running

Ex-Reds Danny Higginbotham and Quinton Fortune expect Manchester United to make a fast start to the 2014/15 campaign after seeing the fixtures released for the new season.

The Reds begin life under manager Louis van Gaal at home to Swansea City, and face all three promoted teams – Leicester City, Burnley and Queens Park Rangers – within the first five games of the new Barclays Premier League campaign.

"I think any United fan will be delighted with that start," former defender Danny Higginbotham told MUTV. "The first game is at home and you expect United, by then, to have new signings in and that allows them to bed in without playing Chelsea, Liverpool or City at the start. You've got the promoted teams when they're still on a crest of a wave but, all in all, the start of the season looks very promising.

"I think if you're going to win the Premier League or at least challenge for it, you have got to hit the ground running. It's a great opportunity, and Old Trafford will be absolutely buzzing for the first game."

United face last season's Championship winners and runners-up in their own stadiums, and Danny feels these will be the toughest tests of van Gaal's opening weeks in charge.

"It could be a bit of a roller-coaster as Leicester have not been in the Premier League for a long time and Burnley only stayed up one season. When United turn up, it's always a full house and they could be the two trickiest games of the opening six or seven."

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