The Steve Mclaren era will kick off on Tyneside on Sunday as Newcastle United play host to Southampton. Southampton have already had a couple of competitive fixtures having negotiated a tricky Europa league tie with Vitesse, Ronald Koeman has brought in some nice players this summer with Juanmi and Clasie two of the better known along with Stekelenberg who is on loan from Fulham. The Saints had a terrific season last year and will be looking to continue their improvement and competitiveness this year. Southampton have quality throughout the side and they play attractive football, with the best defense in the league last year if Southampton can find more consistancy up front this could be a team challenging for the Champions League places at the end of the year.
Newcastle United brought in Steve McLaren in the off season and the former England manager will be hoping that he can turn things around for the Magpies who barely avoided relegation last season. While alot can be said about former manager Alan Pardew's exit mid way through last season, it cant be just that reason that brough around Newcastle's second half slump. John Carver simply couldnt get his side any traction and Newcastle were in real danger of being relegated with nine losses in their last twelve games at the back end of the season. But the magpies survived Cissokho is one of their top players and he chipped in with a much needed goal on the last day of the season. Newcastle have lost Guiterrez who was a quality player and a leader at the back but they have Coloccini, Krul and Taylor to lead by example.
This one is tough to call but to be honest I think the 17/10 about Southampton winning here is too big. I'm going to take the away side to get a win and to heap the pressure on Steve McLaren from the very start.