Adam Lallana says Southampton have been handed some "winnable games" in the early part of the 2013/14 campaign.
Lallana and his teammates will kick off the new season away at West Bromwich Albion, before a home game against Sunderland and a trip to Norwich City.
Saints also face newly-promoted Crystal Palace and Hull City at St Mary's in September and November respectively, leaving Team Captain Adam feeling happier about the start to the upcoming season than he was this time last year.
"It's a bit different to last season's fixtures," Lallana told saintsfc.co.uk as he compared the new schedule to the one that saw his side face Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal inside their opening four games a year ago.
"It's pretty exciting when the fixtures come out, and now I'm just looking forward to the first game of the season away at West Brom.
"You'd say there are some winnable games in there, but that doesn't mean you're guaranteed three points.
"Last season everyone was bound to be excited about the fixtures and, with the tough start we got, people kind of wrote us off but we did quite well even though we didn't get results.
"This year it feels slightly different – you play every team twice at some point in the season, so we're more concentrated and focused on getting back for pre-season and getting our fitness up to the level it needs to be ahead of that game at West Brom."
Interestingly, Saints failed to beat any of their opening four opponents last season, and were defeated by the Baggies both at the Hawthorns and at St Mary's.
And skipper Lallana says he already has one eye on getting revenge against the sides that had the upper hand over them in 2012/13.
"Everyone knows we owe them (West Brom) one after both results last season," he affirmed.
"We've got to settle a few scores but we'll go into those games with open minds and try not to think about that too much.
"Hopefully we'll get the results we want."
Which other games caught the midfielder's eye when the new schedule was published at 9am this morning?
"You obviously look at the Christmas period, when we've got Cardiff and Everton away in the space of a few days," he said.
"Chelsea at home on New Year's Day is an attractive game so I'm sure the fans will enjoy that one, and we've got Manchester United at home at the end of the season.
"Hopefully we've got something to play for that day and we're in the top half of the table – that's certainly the plan.
"There are plenty of games to look forward to and I can't wait to start pre-season now."