Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester United matches against Liverpool and Manchester City are bigger occasions than those against Chelsea, whom the champions play on Monday at Old Trafford.
The match will be David Moyes's first home Premier League outing as manager since succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson, with United and Chelsea having won their opening fixtures. Ferdinand played down the importance of meetings with Chelsea. "I wouldn't say it was one of my favourites," said the defender, who was speaking at United's launch of a commercial partnership with Apollo Tyres.
"You look forward to playing every time you step out at Old Trafford. It is a special place to play. We all appreciate playing there in front of our home fans and we try to put on a show. I wouldn't say we take anyone more seriously or enjoy playing against anyone more.
"The Liverpool and Manchester City games are usually hyped up a bit more than anyone else. The feeling after winning one of those games is probably the biggest of the season."
Ryan Giggs, who played in Saturday's 4-1 win at Swansea City, is conscious that United should start their title defence strongly as José Mourinho managed when winning consecutive titles during his first tenure at Chelsea.
"You want to get off to a good start. It is the first Premier League home game. When Mourinho was at Chelsea they obviously got off to good starts and we didn't manage to catch them. You want to get off to a good start. It has been well documented that we have a tough start. We got a good win at Swansea on Saturday and hopefully we can carry that on."
Giggs, now player-coach, added that he will draw on the knowledge accrued from the differing figures he has worked under as he embarks on his 24th season at United. "David Moyes is only the second manager I have played under at club level," he said.
"I have played under some great coaches as well. My first one was Brian Kidd who had a big influence on my career at a young age. Steve McClaren, Carlos Queiroz, René [Meulensteen], Mick Phelan. I have been fortunate to play for a lot of good coaches. You try to take bits from all of them and stamp the way you like to be played into that."