Generally I await the first game of the season with the feelings of my wedding: extreme fear, the terror through the bereavement of the unexpected and suspense to finally get to watch my team in action again. I question why I have such a negative outlook and all plays down to the dreadful season 2008-2009; this far too close to my liking to become a distant memory. However the previous season counteracts these feelings. Every game flowed with attacking style and flair rewarding all the fans with an eagerness to anticipate each game. We feared no one.

Pre season mission looked fulfilled until a regular upset against the odds with Cardiff utilising the opportunity of a sleepless looking Newcastle backline. If not for this and the continued media stories linking players to injuries, I may have felt inclined to back Newcastle to a win for this forthcoming game against Tottenham Saturday 5.30pm KO.

What I should look at as a mode of inspiration is that Tottenham have Jermaine Defoe as their only threat to Tim Krul. Also with reports that Hatem Ben Arfa will be unavailable it looks as though we may be given the opportunity to play a 4-4-2 system. Something that looked apparent during pre-season. This will encourage a strike force of Demba Ba and Pappis Cisse leading the line (possibly the most fearful strike partnership for any defense to encounter).

The most intriguing part of the early season will be performances of the strike force. With the Senegalese Ba, perhaps, out for redemption after a goal shy close of the season. Let’s hope Ramadam doesn’t have too much of a negative affect on our Muslim players as shown during the previous season.

The question though is what does this club expect from the game? A draw would delight my skeptical overview, but, let’s be honest, a few things are going to have to break Newcastle’s way.

Score prediction: 1-1

Expected team line up: T.Krul, D.Simpson, F.Coloccini (C), S.Taylor, D.Santon, G. Obertan, C. Tiote, Y. Cabaye, J. Gutierrez, D.Ba, P.Cisse

By Jonathan Silman

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