Newcastle United v Southampton

Favre expects ‘special test’ for Dortmund when they face Liverpool in pre-season

Newcastle United will looking to make full use of their home advantage when Southampton visit St James' Park on Sunday in the opening round of Premier League fixtures.

The Magpies and the Saints both surprised Premier League viewers last season, with Ronald Koeman's men almost cracking the top four while the Tynesiders narrowly avoided relegation to the Championship.

How will they start the new season when they meet at St James' Park on Sunday?

Newcastle players will be looking to impress new manager Steve McClaren, showing him and the home fans that they have steadied the ship. Their pre-season preparations provided more defeats than anything else, so the target here should be making sure that they don't start with a heavy defeat.

Southampton have had another transfer window of selling star players and bringing in replacements brimming with potential. They should be feeling confident after beating Dutch side Vitesse 5-0 on aggregate in Europa League qualifiers, while other pre-season results have been steadily improving.

Newcastle have no major injury concerns ahead of the new season, and Magpies fans could be set to see Netherland international midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum make his Premier League debut.

Southampton boss Ronald Koeman will be without long-term injury victim Florin Gardos, while goalkeeper Fraser Forster remains sidelined from last season. New midfield signing Jordy Clasie injured himself in pre-season but could be another Dutch debutant.