Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is eagerly anticipating his side’s first Premier League game of the 2012-13 season against Tottenham.
It is the second time in two years that the Magpies will begin their league campaign at their home ground at Sports Direct Arena after playing Arsenal in their opening match last season.
And Pardew believes his side are facing a tougher opening run of games compared to last year but is hopeful good preparation will stand them in good stead ahead of the first match on August 18.
“It’s a fantastic start to be at home – I thought our home game against Spurs was one of the best matches last season,” he told the club’s official website.
“We will be looking forward to that. I’m pleased for our fans as it’s a great way to start the season.
“The expectation will be on us to win all our games, so it’s no issue that it’s a tough one.
“I think the start is a lot tougher than last year and the end looks tough as well, so we will be hoping to get everything we want done as soon as possible and hopefully before we get into that opening period.”
Pardew admitted that, after confirming Newcastle’s opponents for the opening game, he immediately checked the schedule to see when they were due to play local rivals Sunderland.
And he will be hoping for similar success against the Black Cats this year after taking four points from them last season.
“The first home game is probably the one I look for first, quickly followed by the Sunderland situation,” he said.
“Those Tyne-Wear derbies are key factors in the season. Just like last year, we are away at the Stadium of Light first, which isn’t ideal, but we coped with that well and we will hopefully do so again.
“After that, I look at the Christmas games and then the final game. I haven’t studied it in too much detail yet, but it always looks really, really tough on paper and this season is no different.”