Michael Owen has predicted an opening day defeat for us on Saturday, believing the Hammers will win 2-1 at the London stadium.
Writing in his BetVictor blog, it will come as no surprise to our fanbase that the former NUFC flop has backed us to lose our first game of the campaign, with him feeling the Hammers are in good shape and ready for a top 10 finish – despite a turbulent summer.
As for us, he seems happy Bruce has kept his job after his ‘good work’ last season, but feels bedding his latest trio of new signings in so soon after their arrivals could prove difficult this weekend.
Here is what he said in full:
“West Ham will be looking for a much better season this time around. They flirted with relegation for far too long and that was after I fancied them to have a really good season!
“However, I think they have a decent squad and I would be very surprised if they don’t finish in the top half of the table this time around.
“Newcastle have made a number of decent signings and although the Toon fans will be disappointed that the sale of the club is still up in the air, I am pleased to see that Steve Bruce remains at the helm and is set to build on the good work he did last season.
“I think this game may come a touch too soon for him to bed his new signings in and as such I see David Moyes’ men getting off to a winning start with a 2-1 win to the Hammers.”
The game against West Ham could go either way and despite winning there convincingly last season, I’m not 100% confident myself going into this one – but that doesn’t mean I think we’ll lose.
I’m sitting on the fence here, but the truth is that opening day fixtures are hard to predict and with no club in the top flight having their usual pre-season schedule due to the coronavirus disruption, more unexpected results could occur.
We could turn up and dismantle West Ham 3-0, seeing Wilson run riot against a club he’s scored seven goals against in his last eight, but they could easily give us a similar schooling – and that’s what makes this clash nerve wracking but equally exciting nonetheless.
One thing is for sure, I’ll be sitting watching the game rooting for the team in black-and-white, something that sadly won’t be true about our former striker.