Rio: MU faces stiff start

Updated: 2013-07-19 07:34

(China Daily)

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Rio Ferdinand believes Man United is facing its toughest start to a Premier League season, with the schedule computer pitting it against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City in its first five games.

The champion gets its title defense underway in Swansea on Aug 17 with Chelsea and Liverpool next in line. Newly-promoted Crystal Palace faces a daunting task at Old Trafford after that with the Manchester derby set for Sept 22.

"It focuses us, definitely," Ferdinand, who recently signed a one-year contract extension, said in Sydney.

"There's no easing our way into the league this year. We've got to be ready to go from the off.

"We've got some big games in there but Swansea away is a really tough place to start."

Agence France-Presse

(China Daily 07/19/2013 page22)