Swansea - Manchester United Preview: Red Devils begin title defence with new boss Moyes at the helm

The ex-Everton manager has already picked up his first trophy, the Community Shield, but faces a stern test in the form of Michael Laudrup's Swans, who have impressed in pre-season
Manchester United begin their first Premier League campaign without Sir Alex Ferguson with a tough trip to Swansea City on Saturday.

Ferguson elected to bring his 27-year reign at Old Trafford to an end at the conclusion of the title-winning 2012-13 season, and recommended David Moyes as his successor.

The former Everton boss will be given no easy introduction, however, as United make the daunting trip to the Liberty Stadium.

The reigning champions were held to a 1-1 draw in Wales last season, with Patrice Evra's opener cancelled out by a goal from bargain attacker Michu.

Michael Laudrup's men have been in excellent form in pre-season, triumphing over Malmo in their Europa League tie and winning all seven of their matches in the off-season, scoring 28 goals along the way.

22/1 Manchester United are 22/1 with bet365 to beat Swansea 3-2
But Moyes boasts an impressive record at the Liberty Stadium since Swansea's promotion, having led Everton to a 3-0 win there last season and a 2-0 victory in 2011-12.

The Scot's chances of repeating those feats are somewhat hampered by a lengthy injury list, though.

Michael Carrick (eye) and Javier Hernandez (thigh) both missed out on midweek international duty, while Nani and Ashley Young (both minor knocks) did not feature in the recent 2-0 Community Shield win over Wigan.

Wayne Rooney is seemingly unlikely to feature having missed the entirety of United’s pre-season friendlies, although he managed to play over an hour of England’s midweek friendly win over Scotland.

Uncertainty remains over a return date for Darren Fletcher as his battle with ulcerative colitis continues. Rafael, meanwhile, will serve the final game of his three-match ban for a red card received against Chelsea in May.

Swansea currently have just one injury concern, with Jonathan de Guzman ruled out of the fixture after picking up a head injury during training with the Netherlands.

But that blow is unlikely to dent the hosts' chances too severely, with the likes of Wilfried Bony, Jonjo Shelvey, Jordi Amat and Jose Canas all available as a result of a productive transfer window.

Despite the positivity over the many arrivals, however, Danish boss Laudrup has urged caution over expecting too much from the new recruits.

"Everyone has talked a lot about the transfers," said Laudrup. "We need to see a few games and go past the transfer window first before I can talk about the season ahead.

"Everybody wants someone who can score goals. They are difficult to find and are often very expensive.

"Goals are the most important thing in football. Goals mean points, and points mean you can reach your targets.

"Overall, my target would be to consolidate Swansea as a mid-table team. If we could do that it would be absolutely fantastic."