The season starts tomorrow for most of the clubs but United will have to wait till Sunday afternoon/evening(depending on where you are) to kick-start the defence of their league crown. Newcastle United are the first visitors at OT and if the archives are something to go by, this shouldn't be so much of a problem(as having Reading on the first day). Wayne Rooney is fit and it will only be due to Fergie's cautiousness that he does not start on Sunday alongside Carlos Tevez a.k.a the animal. One of Darren Fletcher or John O'Shea could be in the midfield given our injuries but that should not be of any concern as it is only Newcastle....just Newcastle---this is one club that we always not just beat but HAMMER even when we are having a blip in form. Having said that, here is hoping that I am not made to eat my words come Sunday night. The rest of the team bar Ronaldo, Hargreaves, Park, Anderson, and Nani and of course Saha, should be up for selection.
Newcastle on the other hand have a couple of new signings(Guiterrez and Coloccini--hope I got those right), whom we do not know a thing about so I pray they are given the extra attention that their transfer prices deserve(ha ha!). Otherwise this game has come too soon for Michael Owen-who is recovering from injury and I really cannot see anyone bar him who would cause a the best defence in Europe a headache(anybody doubting, just go check the trophy cabinet!) There is however one bit of concern. Yesterday I took a look at the Sky Sports fixture list and realised that for the first few weeks of the season, United play their games after all their rivals have played-and I can bet my Spects that this will go on throughout the season. Now while many might not read much into this, I do! Jose Mourinho once complained in the 2006/2007 season that United were playing all their games before Chelsea and therefore the Blues were not given the chance to close the gap on us. More interestingly though is that the few times we played after Chelsea, we dropped points. Being a United fan, I found it unnecessary to agree with him then but the reality is that he was right--or at least had a point. Playing after your rivals is harder than playing before them because of the added pressure of winning to match them. For instance, the only thing that could make this Newcastle game on Sunday difficult is the knowledge of Arsenal's victory over West Brom and Chelsea's victory over Portsmouth(God forbid!) early on Sunday. After this late last fixture of the weekend, we play Portsmouth on Monday night week again last and then we have the Super Cup and then Fulham(same time with some rivals) and then the double fire Anfield and Stamford Bridge plus that other query of playing away after every CL group game. SOMEBODY MUST HAVE HAD FUN WITH THESE FIXTURES AT THE PL HEADQUARTERS.
PREDICTION:3-0. Would be more but their scorer will not feature.