Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur
Live on Sky Sports Premier League
Magpies aiming to take flight
After a year in the wilderness, Newcastle United are back in the big time, hoping to consolidate their (surely rightful) place among English football's elite. They have the Rafa Benítez's so-called Rafalution to thank for that, although there have been some lingering signs that all is not well as far as their manager's relationship with Mike Ashley goes.
Those questions will fade into the background on Sunday, with St James' Park sure to welcome back Premier League football in typically raucous fashion. As fate would have it, this is the exact fixture that marked the Magpies' departure in May 2016; a demob-happy side ran out 5-1 winners that day and a repeat would be a big surprise here.
Dwight Gayle's preparations for the big kick-off have been disrupted by a niggling hamstring injury, but he should be fit to play a part here. But DeAndre Yedlin looks set to miss out against his old side, meaning new addition Javier Manquillo - last season being mediocre at Sunderland - is likely to get the nod at right-back.
Stability key for Spurs
Oh, Danny Rose. The Tottenham camp was looking like a bastion of calm and positivity, only for the left-back to put his foot in his mouth on the eve of the season with an interview that must have angered coach Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentine has surely created enough stability to ride out this rogue wave, but it's an unwelcome distraction given that some fans were doubtless already getting itchy feet about the lack of summer business.
As it stands, 2017/18 Tottenham will look much like last season's addition, which is no bad thing. There's the added Wembley factor this season, of course, but Pochettino has a settled side and players who clearly relish playing with one another. That counts for a great deal.
This weekend there will be no Kieran Trippier - injured against Juventus in pre-season - and Victor Wanyama is also struggling. If the latter fails to make it, there should be a start for Harry Winks, with Eric Dier slotting in at right-back. Moussa Sissoko may also be in line to feature on the right of midfield on his old stomping ground.
Will Tottenham start slowly again?
Seven of the last nine winners of the Championship have started the subsequent season with a defeat, so it's no major surprise that Spurs are trading as [1.73] favourites to win here. They are without doubt the better side and should be expecting to win games like this if they are to mount another title challenge.
Yet against a side that doesn't always hit the ground running - Spurs' August record over the last two seasons reads W1 D5 L1 - Newcastle should be able to make a decent game of this. The home win looks unlikely at odds of [5.6], but backing them +0.5 & +1.0 on the Asian handicap at around evens could be a worthwhile play.
Goals on the cards
The last three games between these sides at St James' Park have produced 14 goals, and with Spurs likely missing a couple of key defensive personnel, the overs looks the way to go on Sunday. [1.79] is the price for three goals or more, with the [1.78] available on both teams to score another option.
Back Kane to break his August duck
Famously, Harry Kane has never scored a Premier League goal in August. That's a staggering statistic for a player of his quality, but there's reason to believe he'll have some luck at the 11th attempt: he has scored 20 goals in his last 15 games against newly-promoted sides and comes into the new season on the back of a proper rest. [1.99] looks more than fair.
Jack Lang's Premier League P/L, 2016/17