Sir Alex Ferguson believes Chelsea will provide the greatest threat to Man Utd this season, not Liverpool.
The Red Devils boss is hoping to lead his side to a fourth consecutive Premier League title, and knows competition for the crown will be fierce.
Liverpool pushed United all the way last season, eventually finishing just four points off the pace.
They are expected to challenge again in the 2009/10 campaign, but their chances of tasting top-flight glory have been all but written off by the manager of their fiercest rivals.
Ferguson insists Chelsea, under the guidance of new coach Carlo Ancelotti, are causing him greater concern heading into the new season and claims Liverpool will struggle to replicate their heroics of last term.
"It will be hard for them to match last season, let alone improve on it. Other teams will know more about them," Ferguson told The Sun.
"Liverpool had probably their best season for 20 years and still finished four points adrift.
"It has to be Chelsea as the main threat. Ancelotti will change how they play."
Ferguson has admitted that the summer sale of Cristiano Ronaldo and loss of Carlos Tevez will see him adopt a new approach this season, but he insists he has the talent at his disposal to counter the departures of two key members of his squad.
"People have misread our situation and they have under-estimated our ability to improve players. That is an area where we have proved successful in the past," he added.
"We are expecting a lot from (Jonny) Evans, (Danny) Welbeck, (Darron) Gibson, (Federico) Macheda and the Da Silva brothers.
"And Nani and Anderson have already shown good things, but they will improve this season.
"We will miss Ronaldo's goals, that's obvious.
"But (Dimitar) Berbatov will do well this year. And (Wayne) Rooney and (Michael) Owen are both capable of getting 20 goals, so we've got plenty of options."