FARO, PORTUGAL - JULY 28: Ryan Taylor (2nd R) of Newcastle United celebrates with his teammates after scoring during a pre-Season friendly match between Newcastle United and SC Braga on July 28, 2012 in Faro, Portugal. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Newcastle and Tottenham open their seasons against each other, perhaps previewing the race between the two for a European place
With both teams having competed for and missed out on Champions League football last season, they will be hoping to get off to a strong start to begin their renewed campaign this time around. Newcastle will be hampered, however, by a swathe of injuries to several key players: Hatem Ben Arfa, Fabricio Coloccini, and Cheik Tiote are all unavailable for selection, along with their entire first-team strikeforce of Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, and Shola Ameobi. Tottenham, in contrast, have only Scott Parker out of action from their first-team.
Alan Pardew's side picked up two of their injuries in their final warm-up game, as they slumped to a disappointing 4-1 defeat against Championship outfit Cardiff City, having previously been unbeaten in their pre-season fixtures. Defender Steven Taylor said that the Magpies were "gutted with the result", but added that they will be focused for their season opener, and that "the main thing is to move on to Tottenham."
Game Date/Time: Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, 5:30 p.m. local
Venue: St. James' Park, Newcastle, England
TV: FOX Soccer Channel (U.S.), ESPN (U.K.), Sportsnet (Canada)