The Premier League season begins in earnest tonight as Manchester United welcomes Newcastle United to Old Trafford. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, fresh from beating Chelsea to the Community Shield at Wembley, begins the assault on a 19th domestic title against Chris Houghton’s newly promoted outfit expecting nothing less than victory.
United begins the match with a major doubt surrounding star striker Wayne Rooney, whom has undergone intensive treatment on a calf injury this week. The striker, who has not scored at any level since injuring his ankle against Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter final in March, has played just two halves of football in pre-season to date.
Injured stars Owen Hargreaves, Anderson and Rio Ferdinand will take no part in the match, with the United defender at least four weeks away from fitness and the Brazilian not due to return until late September. Ferdinand is yet to begin any full training according to his manager.
“Rio is nowhere near, no. He’s doing little bits of jogging and things like that but I think he’s a month away,” said Ferguson, who is likely to pair Nemanja Vidic with Jonny Evans in Ferdinand’s continued absence.
“We always anticipated it would take time. It’s a knee ligament and, although it wasn’t what you’d call a serious one, it was a hard one. You have to take time with knee ligaments.
“Rio has had a bad 12 months and we hope it gets better for him. You hope the break over the summer with missing the World Cup will help him.
“The back injury seemed to sort itself out as the season went on, then he had the groin injury. He’s had a succession of these things and you don’t want to see that when a player is in his 30s.”
Meanwhile, Patrice Evra must overcome both a minor leg injury and a lack of pre-season preparation to make the United bench, with Rafael da Silva also in contention to start for the Reds after overcoming a virus.
Ferguson is likely to pair veteran Paul Scholes with Michael Carrick or Darren Fletcher in central midfield, with Welshman Ryan Giggs eyeing a recalling supporting Rooney – if fit – in attack. Nani and Antonio Valencia are likely to retain their wide roles in the United side to face a resurgent Newcastle.
Should United’s talismanic forward not make the match, then Dimitar Berbatov, Javier Hernández and Michael Owen remain in contention for a starting spot against the Magpies.
Meanwhile, the visitors travel without half a dozen players including defender Steven Taylor, new recruit Dan Gosling and former United full-back Danny Simpson. Influential midfielder Danny Guthrie may also miss out. The injuries could mean a recall for former Red Alan Smith in central midfield, with Kevin Nolan supporting local hero Andy Carroll in attack. Veteran defender Sol Campbell is not yet match fit.
Despite storming to the Championship title most pundits expect a lower-half finish for Houghton’s side in the coming season, with owner Mike Ashley reluctant to repeat the excessive spending of previous Geordie regimes.
Victory is, of course, expected for United against newly promoted Newcastle, with the North East club circumspect in the transfer market during the summer break. Indeed, Wallsend-born Michael Carrick says that an opening day win is essential over his local childhood side if United is to regain the Premier League title from Chelsea this season.
“The way it looks, you cannot afford to drop too many points,” said the midfielder.
“Last season was a bit of a freak in terms of how many games both us and Chelsea lost and how many points were dropped.
“The previous few years there wasn’t much margin for error and competition is pretty fierce again now.
“Teams who have finished around the Champions League places are looking to break through and you really have to start firing from the off.”
United drew its opening day fixture against Newcastle two years ago. Few inside Old Trafford will countenance a similar result tonight.
Team – Harper, R Taylor, Coloccini, Williamson, Jose Enrique, Nolan, Barton, Smith, Carroll, Lovenkrands, Gutierrez. Subs – Routledge, Forster, Krul, Perch, Xisco, Ameobi, Guthrie, Kadar, Ranger
Referee: Chris Foy
Assistant referees: Robert Pollock & Andy Garratt
Fourth official: Lee Mason
United – n/a
Newcastle – n/a
87 thoughts on “Season begins with Geordie visit”
Let’s be honest.
The season hasn’t really started yet.
Didn’t playing Giggs and Scholes together in midfield result in several disappointing performances last year?
i reckon we’ll play (if rooney is injured of course)
oshea vidic evans rafael
nani fletcher scholes valencia
Vds, Rafa, Evans, Vida, Oshea, Tony V, Michael Carrick, Scholes, Nani, Berbatov, Rooney.
I think we will play 2 upfront for this game. Berbatov should start, and it will probably be Rooney or if he isn’t fit then Hernandez:
Van der Sar
Rafael Vidic Evans O’Shea
Valencia Fletcher Scholes Nani
Bench: Kuszczak, Brown, Fabio, Carrick, Giggs, Park, Hernandez (Owen if Rooney injured and Hernandez starts)
Despite being the most ardent of toon fans i’m slighlty worried about tonights game!
If you lot play like you did against chelsea then we will be beaten comfortably! Watching chelsea dismantle west brom yday shows the huge differnce in quality between the top of the championship and the very top of the PL!
Newcastle have a real fighting spirit amongst the players after last season. I think everyone in the PL will be surprised to see how good young andy carroll actually is; especially in the air where i cant see anyone in the league getting the better of him!
But our problem is going to be keeping the ball long enough to get it out wide to jonas and routledge in order to create the service carroll will need.
I hope rooney doesnt play (as he always scores against us); i hope owen starts and that someone hits him hard in the first couple minutes. That said; he’s nowhere near good enough to start for you now.
I hope we giuve a good account of ourselves; a draw is realistically the best we can hope for but i can’t see it happening!
Good luck for the season and i hope its an entertaining game.
I would imagine Vidic can deal with most of what Carroll can offer. With Evans and O’Shea in the defence too we should have plenty of aerial threat to cope. I’m a bit worried that with a midfield of Barton, Smith and Nolan that someone’s leg is gonna get broken!
Let’s hope its michael owens then 🙂
Fletcher will definitely start and if Fabio is not injured he would start as well.
@madmax – Fabio played for the reserves last night so I’d be surprise if he starts. Fletcher bit short of minutes pre-season, only reason I’m guessing its Carrick.
United will start slow
Relatively comfortable but a bit shit
I don’t care who starts, but I’ll be pissed off if we don’t get off to a flyer.
I want at the very least… 3-0… AT THE VERY LEAST!
APPARENTLY A SMALL SECTION OF THE CROWD WILL BE CHANTING “LKHF” FOR THE MOSE PART OF THE GAME
SOURCES INDICATE LKHF MEMBERS WILL BE IN ATTENDANCE AND PLAN A 5 MINUTE SIT DOWN PROTEST AT HALF TIME
We need to send out a statement of intent for the season. Newcastle will be buoyed by their quick return to the Premier League.
I think there will be a lot of goals in this one.
Should get a decent stream here…
oshea starts at),ffslkhf
Apparently Berbatov starts with Rooney
442 against this shite
not sure what happened there
United team: Van der Sar, O’Shea, Vidic, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Fletcher, Scholes, Nani; Berbatov, Rooney.
Subs: Kuszczak, Rafael, Smalling, Carrick, Giggs, Macheda, Hernandez
Sopcast 82153… good looking stream, but this time of night, with all the bloody Yanks online… might be a bit erratic.
Its good that machedas making the bench ahead of owen
Yeah fucking yank scumbags TALI-BAN TALI-BAN
Be good to see Evra back, but if Rafa is fit, why isn’t he starting?
here we go come on reds.
And the new season starts…
Come on the Lads!
What a ball from Rooney… O’Shea, you twat.
Lot’s of green and gold
Class from Nani
Oh ffs… Nani’s been pole-axed again.
Why the fuck does he have roll around like that?
Rooney is shite, proper shite
He’s gonna need plenty of games to get his sharpness back
FFs Rooney get a grip.
Keep Berbatov Sell Rooney
Good game, this.
WTF is Barton thinking with that moustache?
Looks like a right pervy twat.
were getting slack again
Fletch… get in!
Well done, Fletch
Newcastle look like a Division 1 team at times
We’re on for an arse raping
Get Hernandez on, he’ll score against this shite no problem
We’re playing some great football, but fucking it up with a poor final pass.
Half Time 2 – 0 up come on lads
I’d like to see Rooney stay on… he needs to play his way into form.
Well, this Yank scumbag is watching a beautiful, widescreen stream on ESPN3, so I’m not interfering with your attempts watch at all.
Put Hernandez on for the hopeless Rooney and him and Berbatov will rape them.
Bet you spilt your Bud Lite when Berbatov’s shot hit the scorebag, ey
Bloody yank scumbags!!
Easy Mate… don’t take it personal… but being a kinsman of Mephytical Malcolm is a bit of a downer.
Nani stayed on his feet!!!
Great running from Nani.
Scholes at his tackling best :)))
why the fuck did Rooney not go for goal
what a miss by Berbatov!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We are playing rings around this lot.
What a move
Scholes, Berba, Rooney
Bollocks… we’re racking up the yellows here.
Lol Rooney booted the ball into his head
Scholes has been magnificent again.
fuck. Rooney off
Absolutely magnificient. His passing is excellent as ever and he is buzzing around the box as well. Like a new signing
This is so ridiculously one sided… how are we not 4 or 5 up?
Hernandez just offside
First of many this season
Somebody check that Cals OK Giggsy coming on
It would be great if Chico could score in front of the fans… they’d go mad.
were scoring way to little
I won’t be satisfied if don’t get at least one more.
Berbatov has played well also.
Agree for all our possession were doing nothing with it.
3-0 thats better.
Scholes to Giggs… Goal…
Brilliant first time finish from Giggs
that man Giggs 3 – 0
Savour every single second that Paul Scholes plays in a United shirt, because we will never see his like again. A footballer from another planet.
Would use that piss to put out a fire; I drink Guinness.
Alright Ozil is no Scholes but he’s still a top player
Good performance, but not great… should have scored a dozen against that lot.
Good start to the season though… can’t complain.
Scholes surely MotM.
scholes and giggs offer us nothing!!!!
Ah, always thought you were a top geezer
THE INEPT PERFORMANCE AND LACK OF YOUNGSTER SOLIDIFIES THE LKHF CAMPAIGN
WHERE WE THESE SO CALLED YOUNGSTERS WE TRUST SO MUCH??? FFS
Yep… he looked full of running tonight as well… If Ferguson rests him accordingly, we’ll easily get 20/25 games out of him.
Started slowly, and I was thinking here we go again, same as last season, but after that we carved them up. Great performance, well happy with that… There’s no pleasing some people!
Scholes absolutely superb, a player of supreme skill and balance. With him in this kind of form Ozil will probably not be signed. A true one-off and incomparable.
good start to the season, could have scored more, but would have been happy with 3-0 before the game.
Happy with that.
I do wish we would stop falling into this annoying habit of arsing about when we’re in a comfortable position and potentially looking vulnerable when the other side pull a goal back. Had Newcastle scored when we were 2-0 up, I would have been a bit worried.
All in all, though, we were in control. The goals were all well-worked. Giggsy’s was superb for the quality of the execution but I loved the build-up to Berba’s.
Tonight did highlight Valencia’s inconsistency with crossing. He has more than enough quality in every other element of his game…but he needs to work on his crossing.
Moment of the match: When Newcastle fans thought they’d won the singing contest yakking on about how Shearer turned us down (this went on for a couple of minutes)…only to be spectacularly pwned when the United fans responded with “Shearer took you down”.
The Geordies didn’t sing about Shearer after that!
fucked up neadenrthals, they still shit in the garden them newcastle persons
Why do they boast about Sheaerer turning us down when we signed Ole instead?