The fixtures for the 2013/14 Premier League season are out and Manchester United have been dealt a cruel blow.
The Red Devils face an extraordinarily tough start to the campaign. In compiling a list of David Moyes' side's six toughest fixtures of the season, it's clear that three will be played before the end of September.
It will be intriguing to see how the new United boss transitions to life at Old Trafford this term.
If he can win a few of these games, he will already be doing well.
Manchester United vs. Chelsea, 24 August 2013.
Talk about a baptism of fire: David Moyes' first game in front of the Old Trafford faithful is a clash with Chelsea.
The Blues are expected to be a rejuvenated force next season.
New manager Jose Mourinho should restore a competitive balance to the side, while Roman Abramovich is likely to spend big this summer in his bid to reclaim domestic dominance.
Last term, Chelsea triumphed 1-0 at United, though the game was played after the Red Devils had clinched the league title.
Expect Juan Mata and Eden Hazard to give the home team's back line a torrid time when the two sides meet on Matchday 2.
Liverpool vs. Manchester United, 31 August 2013.
The Red Devils' annual trip to Anfield usually turns into one of the most hard-fought, fierce encounters of the season.
Liverpool will never give an inch to United. The Reds may no longer be the domestic force they once were, but when Manchester United come to town, they always raise their game.
Coached by Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool showed marked improvement in their style of football last term, even if the results did not always reflect the fact.
This fixture will be the Red Devils' third, and follows directly on from the Chelsea game.
If David Moyes can collect six points from these two games, he will quickly repel the criticism of him as an unworthy replacement for Sir Alex Ferguson.
Manchester City vs. Manchester United, 21 September 2013.
September 21 will be David Moyes' first taste of a Manchester derby.
Manuel Pellegrini will receive short shrift at Manchester City if he fails to claim silverware immediately. The Chilean manager will need to deliver immediately at the Etihad.
Last term, United beat the Blues in dramatic fashion in their away fixture, but lost 2-1 at home in April.
City will be out to avenge that earlier loss next season and make a concerted push to regain their place at the summit of the league table.
Expect David Silva and Yaya Toure to continue to give the Red Devils trouble, as they have done in the past.
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester United, 30 November 2013.
Life at White Hart Lane is currently a fraught affair, with the club and fans wondering if star player Gareth Bale is to remain in North London.
The Welshman was a transcendent force last season, deservedly winning the PFA Player of the Season award for his efforts.
If he remains at Tottenham Hotspur, the side will look to build on their slightly disappointing fifth-place finish
Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas was also impressive, building on the foundations left by previous coach Harry Redknapp.
In November, United will travel to Tottenham and must be at their best to leave with three points.
Chelsea vs. Manchester United, 18 January 2014.
There is a reason Chelsea are the only side featured twice in this article.
Jose Mourinho will have the Blues back in the thick of things, fighting toe-to-toe with the Red Devils for Premier League glory.
The two teams meet for the second time next season at Stamford Bridge in January.
Last term, the corresponding result finished 3-2 to the Red Devils, though Jose Mourinho has a notoriously good record against United.
Fans in the red half of Manchester remember only too well how his Real Madrid team eliminated United from the Champions League earlier this year.
Everton vs. Manchester United, 19 April 2014.
The final fixture on this list of potentially tricky games is David Moyes' return to Goodison Park in April.
Though the Blues may very well regress with the Scotsman's exit, Everton are another team that usually play their best football against United.
The players will also be determined to put in a fine display to prove their former manager's exit was no big deal.
Under new manager Roberto Martinez, Everton will look to maintain their record of consistently finishing in the top half of the table.
This mid-April clash looks like the final tough fixture of the Red Devils' season.