It doesnâ€™t seem like three months since we were beaten 3-1 in the last game of the season at Everton, but those months have passed by, and today marks Newcastleâ€™s first game in what will be a vital season for the club.
We have a number of injuries to still contend with, which isnâ€™t particularly good news, but going to Old Trafford on the first day of the season may be one of the best times to go there, and given we have to get some revenge from our 6-0 mauling in January, we would hope the lads can get a result there this afternoon.
Certainly Kevin Keegan seems to be upbeat as usual, and of course he will be going for the win, and attack the European Champions.
Weâ€™re not sure what the team will be but we think Kevin will take one or two chances and play new signing Coloccini in defense, and we also believe he prefers Nâ€™Zogbia at left back over Spanish youngster Jose Enrique â€“ so we expect the line up to be as follows:
Beye Coloccini Taylor Nâ€™Zogbia
Gutierrez Butt (capt) Guthrie Duff
Subs: Harper Cacapa Enrique Geremi Smith Ameobi LuaLua
Kevin may somehow find a starting place for Geremi, and today we will have 7 substitutes, as in all games this season.
We think Given will start in goal, and are not sure if Steve Harper is 100% fit yet, so if thatâ€™s the case, probably Fraser Forster will be on the bench.
We also think Keegan will utilize Milner up front with Martins, although he could easily switch Milner with Duff, who looked great again last week.
If we are going to do well, there are a few things that will have to happen:
- Coloccini will need to fit in immediately at the back
- The defense will have to be a lot more solid than last season
- The team will need to show their bright form of the last two pre-season games
- A confidence of â€œwe can do itâ€ will need to be pervasive with the players.
We do think we can get a good result today, and anything but a defeat is what weâ€™ll be hoping for.
What do you think?