Last season, David Moyes took his Manchester United side to Swansea on the opening day of the season and put the South Wales team to the sword with an emphatic 4-1 victory.
But the Red Devils' world progressively collapsed after that, representing the club's worst-ever Premier League season.
Louis van Gaal now takes on Swansea in his first game in charge, for Saturday's early kick-off at Old Trafford as the new Premier League season gets underway.
Garry Monk starts his first full campaign as manager at the Liberty Stadium, and he will be wary facing a rejuvenated United team.
Here is how you can watch this fixture:
When: Saturday, Aug. 16, at 12:45 p.m. BST/7:45 a.m. ET
Where: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
TV Info: Live on BT Sport 1 & HD (UK only) NBC & mun2 (U.S. only)
The Dutch Era Begins
It has been a torturous year for Manchester United fans as they watched their team slip from all-conquering champions to also-rans.
This season, the Premier League welcomes one of the greatest coaches of the modern era as Dutch coach Louis van Gaal arrives in English football looking to awaken and refresh the Red Devils.
After a classic World Cup finals, the hunger for the Premier League is about to hit new heights with a global audience eager to see what will happen in Europe's most exciting league.
Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated commented about the anticipation in the USA:
United kick off their campaign as they did last year—with a host of injuries. Van Gaal has spoken about the injuries to Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia and Jonny Evans, and the Reds will have to rely on their youthful squad to fill the gaps.
Daniel Taylor of the Guardian confirmed LvG's problems for the Swansea game:
United are also without the services of Robin van Persie, who was given extended leave after the Netherlands' successful World Cup campaign.
But new club captain Wayne Rooney has been in excellent form in pre-season and is likely to partner the squad's only other available senior striker, Mexican attacker Javier Hernandez.
Van Gaal has continued with the system that he employed so successfully during the summer with the Dutch national side, playing an energetic version of 5-3-2.
This has allowed many of United's team to play in their favoured positions, with Juan Mata as the heartbeat of the side at No. 10.
If LvG can make his new team perform in the manner of their tour of the USA, the Red Devils should come out of the blocks fast this year. They convincingly swept to the International Champions Cup in recent weeks by beating Real Madrid and Liverpool, pointing toward greater things ahead.
But United now need to turn optimism into points and stay with the clubs that finished so convincingly above them last season. Van Gaal has the pedigree to drive United back to the top but, with minimal signings so far, the job of catching the leading pack may take longer than expected.
Fresh Challenges for Swansea
As with United, Swansea have experienced unexpected managerial changes in the past 12 months. One year ago Michael Laudrup was one of the most in-demand managers in the game, with silverware in his hands after a League Cup win and an exciting, fluid team.
However, things look different now. The Swans only won 11 of their Premier League matches last year, per Squawka, and are back amongst the relegation fodder.
When asked whether the team will survive this season, TalkSport's Adrian Durham was not so sure:
Swansea have lost the buoyancy they had not so long ago. Their main threat was Spanish midfielder Michu, but he has now departed the club for warmer territories.
Monk's team will struggle to create this year and may find themselves rooted to the bottom half of the table. They will also face a battle to hang on to highly-rated striker Wilfried Bony, who is very much coveted by other clubs, per the Metro.
Swansea will need to be brave this year to stay up, and it is questionable whether Monk is the right man for the job. He is inexperienced in comparison to Laudrup and this might be his undoing.
A first day trip to Old Trafford is never the perfect start for any team's new campaign, but with United looking to put on a show in Van Gaal's first game in charge, Swansea will find Saturday's match one that is difficult to navigate.
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