Newcastle’s exciting start to the new season

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew

NEWCASTLE will kick off the new Premier League season with a re-run of their 4-4 thriller with Arsenal.

But while that is undoubtedly a game to whet the appetite of the Toon Army, fans will have one eye on the second game of the new campaign – a trip to derby rivals Sunderland.

And Alan Pardew insists he and his United stars are “excited” by the prospect of such a “fantastic” start to the new campaign, which begins on the weekend of Saturday, August 13.

Fans still angry at Andy Carroll’s £35m move to Liverpool will have to wait until March 31 – the Gateshead-born striker’s first likely return to Gallowgate – to vent their anger, though the Magpies do travel to Anfield on New Year’s Eve.

The return game against the Black Cats is provisionally scheduled – as all fixtures are subject to change – for March 3.

Looking to improve on last season’s 12th-place finish, Pardew said: “What a fantastic start for us, Arsenal at St James’s Park and then the Stadium of Light!

“Our fans will love that, but myself and the players are equally excited.

“No doubt people will hark back to the 4-4 draw last February, and rightly so, and it’s undoubtedly one of the best games of the opening weekend.

“Going to Sunderland so early in the season is terrific too, and of course we can take heart from our performances against them last season.

“Liverpool and Manchester United in successive games over the Christmas/New Year period is pretty mouth-watering too, and two trips to Manchester over consecutive weekends is a tough assignment, but that’s what the Premier League is all about.”

Full story in Saturday’s Mail