Arsenal vs Manchester City
This weekend's curtain raiser is no doubt the main event as title hopefuls Arsenal host the reigning champions Manchester City in a repeat of this summer's Community Shield. It was the Gunners that came out on top that day, though too much should not be read into the 3-0 win given that the game was played at a lower intensity, particularly as far as Manuel Pellegrini's side were concerned.
All eyes will be on Danny Welbeck as he looks set to start for the Gunners for the first time following a surprise move from United and the England international - fresh from netting a brace in the recent qualifier with Switzerland - will be keen to make a good first impression. The fact that he faces the rivals of his former, and boyhood, club will add that extra incentive as he looks to cover for the loss of Olivier Giroud through injury.
Welbeck may have only scored 9 league goals since the start of last season to the Frenchman's 17 but given his restricted playing time, often deployed out of his favoured centre-forward position when he was given the chance under Moyes, there are more telling statistics to consider. The United graduate has averaged fewer minutes per goal than Giroud in that time (167 to 185.5) and boasts a better conversion rate (19.6% to 14.4%).
With 7 goals in their last 3 meetings with the Citizens, Arsenal fans will be hoping Welbeck can get off to a flying start in Saturday's early kick-off.
The 10 debutants to look out for this weekend
The 10 debutants to look out for this weekend
1/8 Radamel Falcao (Manchester United)
One of four Manchester United players on this list, Falcao's arrival at Manchester United was the biggest surprise of a mad summer. It will be interesting to see where Louis van Gaal decides to play the Colombian hitman - will he start alongside Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, will he replace one of them, or will he start from the bench?
2/8 Luke Shaw (Manchester United)
Brought in on a massive fee, the English teenager has been roundly criticised for failing to get fit in time for the new season. With Ashley Young struggling as Van Gaal's left wing-back Luke Shaw should come in and immediately be an upgrade in the position. United and England fans will certainly be hoping so.
3/8 Marcos Rojo (Manchester United)
Almost a month after arriving at Manchester United, and four games into the season, Argentine defender Marcos Rojo finally has a passport and should play. Louis van Gaal's team have looked porous at the back and the fiesty defender should add some bite to the back-line.
4/8 Daley Blind (Manchester United)
A Louis van Gaal favourite, Daley Blind is a versatile player capable of slotting in across the defence, at wing-back or in central midfield. Classy and composed on the ball, Blind is a clever player - it'll be interesting to see where the Manchester United boss opts to play the utility man.
5/8 Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)
Danny Welbeck was brilliant for England in Switzerland, scoring two goals and showing all of the energy and enthusiasm that has made him a manager's favourite. Arsenal were desperately in need of cover after the injury to Olivier Giroud and Gunners fans will be hoping the £16m striker hits the ground running.
6/8 Alex Song (West Ham)
Although he never managed to break into the first team in two years at Barcelona, Alex Song is undoubtedly a top quality player. West Ham needed to add goals and flair to their struggling side and Sam Allardyce will be hoping Song can get close to the 11 assists he provided for Arsenal in the 2011-12 season.
7/8 Abel Hernandez (Hull City)
Steve Bruce has spent the majority of the money he received for the sale of Shane Long on the 24-year-old Hernandez. The Uruguayan had an excellent season in Serie A last year scoring 14 goals for Palermo, but is a bit of a wildcard. The pacey striker will look to develop the same kind of partnership Long enjoyed with Nikica Jelavic last season
8/8 Ricky Alvarez (Sunderland)
Alvarez's signature is a coup for Gus Poyet and Sunderland. The tall Argentina midfielder oozes class and was impressive for Inter Milan last season with four goals and eight assists, before being selected for the World Cup. Sunderland struggled for goals last season and will be hoping Alvarez can provide a spark for their strikers.
Chelsea vs Swansea
Later on Saturday Chelsea host the only other side hoping to protect their 100 per cent record from the opening three fixtures when Swansea make the trip to the capital. The additions of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas have seen the Blues quickly established as early favourites for the title and on the evidence before the break it isn't hard to see why.
Jose Mourinho's men netted more than 30 league goals fewer than both Liverpool and City last season, despite sitting just 4 points off of top spot. The Londoners have struck 11 times already this campaign - 4 more than any other side - but come up against a Swansea outfit that hold the joint-strongest defensive record going into the weekend, with just the one Wayne Rooney goal from a set piece conceded.
The Welsh outfit have, however, failed to score in each of their previous 4 competitive meetings with Chelsea, with the Blues netting just 4 themselves in that time, so this should be a tighter affair than the hosts' fans have been witness to this season. The Swans will likely deploy a similar tactic to that used so successfully against United, having unfamiliarly allowed Van Gaal's side to control possession, with 59%, and frustrated their opponents from a more solid platform. They've now kept back-to-back clean sheets having done so just once over the entirety of the previous campaign.
Manchester United vs QPR
In the only match on Sunday the Old Trafford faithful - with that faith having been tested over the past year - will hope to get a glimpse of a number of exciting new signings. Angel Di Maria's debut wasn't as memorable as they would have hoped, playing his part in another disappointing draw, this time with Burnley, though Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and Radamel Falcao could all join the Argentine in this week's XI.
Rojo is an interesting signing and was perhaps viewed as Argentina's weak link ahead of the World Cup but came out of the tournament with plenty of credit and is adept at playing on the left of a back three. Blind was another who impressed and his versatility could well be vital, with the former Ajax man scooping the Eredivisie player of the year award last season along with an impressive WhoScored.com rating of 7.38 having played at left-back and as the distributor in midfield.
One man that wasn't able to showcase his talents in Brazil was Falcao and United will certainly be hoping that he is fully fit after a serious knee injury, especially given the €10m loan fee spent to secure his sought-after services. It's a hugely costly move given the player’s astronomical wages but the Red Devils have undoubtedly signed one of Europe's greatest finishers. With 63 league goals in just 88 appearances since a move to Atletico in 2011, the Colombian's 20.9 per cent conversion rate in that time is stronger than both Rooney (16.1 per cent) and Van Persie (17.9 per cent). The fans will hope that QPR are El Tigre's first victim this weekend.
All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings.