Manchester United Wayne Rooney Valencia
New Manchester United skipper Wayne Rooney will want to bang in a few goals against Swansea CityReuters

Louis Van Gaal, the name that has been on pretty much every newspaper even remotely interested in covering the English Premier League, will take centre-stage as he leads out his Manchester United side for the opening fixture of the 2014-15 Premier League campaign at Old Trafford against Swansea City.

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The opening match of the new season is set for a 12.45 pm BST (7.45 am ET, 5.15 pm IST) start with live coverage on Star Sports 4 in India. Van Gaal's first Premier League match can also be watched via live streaming online in India HERE. TV coverage in the UK will be on BT Sport 1, with the option to live stream HERE. Viewers in the UK can also listen to the match via radio on BBC Radio 5 Live or HERE. Catch the action in the US on TV on NBC Sports, while the game can also be live streamed online HERE. Australia viewers can live stream the action HERE, while viewers in Canada can do the same HERE. Viewers in the Middle East and North Africa can watch the match via live streaming HERE, while South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa viewers can do the same HERE. Audience in the Netherlands can watch Van Gaal and co. on Fox Sports 2.

After the disastrous campaign last season, much is expected of Van Gaal, who is now almost seen as the messiah, to help them bury the nightmares of 2013-14 season past.

And ironically, the Dutchman will begin his United career in the Premier League with the same opponent that David Moyes and his Manchester United side faced last season. Moyes' team thumped Swansea 4-1 on the opening day, and Van Gaal will hope for a similar result, but without carrying on the subsequent results that followed.

"It has to be better," new United captain Wayne Rooney told Premier League Productions. "There are no two ways about it. We have to improve a lot on last year. We know that as a team and we have been working hard [during preseason] to make sure we're going to get the right results and I'm sure it will be better.

"We are not a club who will settle for finishing in Europe. We're a club that wants to win trophies and for us it's only a good season if you do that. It's very important to get a good start

"We've got a run of games where we feel we can do well, we can pick up maximum points. It's vital we get three points in the first game, then you can pick up momentum from there."

Manchester United showed great form during preseason, winning the International Champions Cup in the US, while also seeing off Valencia in Van Gaal's first match at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

The new 3-5-2 formation does seem to be working for the club, and it will be interesting to see just how it pans out in a competitive fixture, and that too the opening match of the Premier League campaign.

"His way of thinking and on the training pitch he demands that every day everything is done to the highest level," Rooney said about Van Gaal. "You can see exactly why he has won trophies wherever he has been. He is a winner, you see that, but he also wants to keep improving and keep his team improving."

For Swansea, things have not been the greatest, with several of their big-name players, including Michel Vorm, Ben Davies, Michu, Chico Flores and Pablo Hernandez all leaving for pastures anew.

Manager Garry Monk has made a few interesting signings, though, chief of them being France international striker Bafetimbi Gomis. If Gomis has been brought in to provide cover and support for Wilfried Bony, or as a replacement with the Ivory Coast international linked to the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham, remains to be seen.

All of the attention in the build-up to this game has been on Manchester United and Van Gaal, and that will suit Monk and Swansea. If they can continue to slip under the radar and spring a surprise over the 90 minutes at Old Trafford it will be the perfect afternoon out for the Welsh side.

"All of the focus is on them and that suits us fine," Monk said. "Whenever you go there you know it is going to be tough because of the quality they have. They have had a very positive preseason, but we have had a very good week's training and we'll be positive.

"Everyone is beatable in this league. On any given day, if things drop right and you're on the top of your game, we can beat the big clubs and we've proved that already. We know it will be difficult but we don't fear them -- we see it as a challenge."

Key men: Manchester United: New signing Ander Herrera has been quite impressive in preseason, and he will be the man that makes United tick in midfield. Rooney will also be doubly keen to make an impression, as he walks in with the armband.

Swansea City: Bony had an impressive first season, and will want to keep banging in the goals.

Team news: Manchester United: Van Gaal does have a few problems, with Michael Carrick a long-term absentee, while summer signing Luke Shaw will also miss the start of the season. Robin Van Persie, the man who played under Van Gaal at the World Cup, is still lacking in match-fitness and will not be considered, while Danny Welbeck, Sam Johnstone, Jonny Evans and Antonio Valencia are also ruled out.

Swansea City: Leon Britton, Marvin Emnes and Jay Fulton are out with injury, but Gomis, Lukasz Fabianski and Jefferson Montero could all make their debuts, while Gylfi Sigurdsson is also expected to feature after making his return to the club from Tottenham.

Expected lineups: Manchester United: De Gea; Blackett, Smalling, Jones; Young, Herrera, Mata, Fletcher, James; Hernandez, Rooney.

Swansea City: Fabianski; Rangel, Bartley, Williams, Taylor; Sigurdsson, Shelvey, Ki; Dyer, Bony, Gomis.

Prediction: 4-2 to Manchester United

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