Rio Ferdinand has claimed that Manchester United's first five Premier League fixtures represent the toughest start he has ever seen.
United face Chelsea at Old Trafford as well as trips to Liverpool and Manchester City among their opening fixtures.
The 34-year-old, who is currently in Australia on United's pre-season tour, stressed the importance of a focused start from the champions.
"There's no easing our way into the league this year," said Ferdinand. "We've got the be ready to go from the off.
"We've got some big games in there but Swansea [City] away is a really tough place to start. We've got to make sure we're ready for the start of the season because our first five games are probably the toughest I have ever seen.
"With a new manager coming in, we're going to be focused anyway. There's an excitement in the squad and that will build as the start of the season gets closer."
United's next pre-season game is against the A-league All Stars on Saturday morning.