Newcastle v Tottenham promises to be a tight encounter later today, with no side wanting to drop to an opening day defeat.
It is one of the season's first 'six pointers' and clashes between the clubs who finished in the top six. When Tottenham hosted Manchester City two seasons ago on the opening day it was a cagey affair finishing 0-0.
After this match Spurs face four sides expected to finish in the lower half of the table, three at White Hart Lane, so a draw in this tough away fixture would set them up nicely to attempt to get maximum points from those matches.
There are a few reasons why a draw would be a good result for Tottenham, their difficult time in the transfer market for one. When Spurs grabbed a 2-2 draw at St James Park last season Emmanuel Adebayor scored the first with Jermain Defoe scoring the second.
This time Adebayor is not part of the team, his transfer hasn't been agreed, and a lack of transfer activity means Jermain Defoe is the club's only out and out striker. Breaching Newcastle's tough defence could be difficult for them.
Indeed when Spurs demolished the Toon 5-0 at the Lane in February, Adebayor inspired the win scoring once and providing four assists, while Louis Saha bagged twice. He has since been released.
But it is in midfield where Spurs have problems too. Is Luka Modric in a position to play? That is doubtful. Scott Parker is also ruled out injured. Sandro will be required, but he has played non-stop over the last month thanks to his Olympic involvement.
They are up against one of the best midfields in the league, and so the problems they face are not ideal timing-wise. Also in defence Jan Vertonghen is set to make his debut. He will be expected to settle straight away, but he couldn't have a tougher league debut in front of him- Facing the in-form striker at the end of last season, Papiss Cisse.
So above are reasons for Tottenham to be pessimistic, and Newcastle may not get a better chance to claim all three points. Failing to take advantage would be a disappointment.
image: © mikebrown59