Writer: Steve Guscott
Date:Friday August 14 2009
St James Park
15th August 2009
After an opening day draw with Nottingham Forest, the Royals make the long trip to the North East to face Newcastle. The Magpies were relegated from the Premier League last season so this will be their first home game back in the second tier of English Football. They also drew on the opening day of the season, 1-1, away at West Brom.
'This is the biggest arena in our division but it's not something we will be fearing.'
Midfielders Nicky Butt and Danny Guthrie are not yet fit enough to return but goalkeeper Steve Harper is fit after being forced off at half time last weekend with a head injury. He is likely to start in goal but Tim Krul who came on for him against West Brom put in a good performance so caretaker manager Chris Houghton has a decision to make between the sticks.
Irish winger committed himself to the club when they were relegated at the end of last season and began the new season in style with a goal against West Brom.
Brendan Rodgers has a few decisions to make with his starting line up, most noteably upfront. Simon Church started against Forest, but Shane Long came on and played well and then there is David Mooney, who scored twice against Burton in the Carling Cup, and fit again Noel Hunt.
Matt Mills will hope to be invovled after making his debut in that tie on Tuesday but could have to settle for a place on the bench.
On loan Chelsea left back had an impressive debut against Nottingham Forest and will be looking to take that form into this game.
The Royals have been defeated on their previous 2 visits to St James Park, 3-0 in the 2007/2008 season and 3-2 in the 2006/2007 season.
Anthony Taylor from Cheshire will take charge of this game.
This will be a tough game despite Newcastle being in crisis off the pitch. Unfortunatly I cannot see us winning - Newcastle 2-0 Royals
Tuesday 18th August 2009 Swansea Away
Date:Friday August 14 2009
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