By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Alan Pardew believes United will face an unknown quantity in Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday (5.30pm kick-off), as the manager keeps his fingers crossed for a clean bill of health.
Spurs dispensed with manager Harry Redknapp over the summer, replacing him with ex-Chelsea supremo Andre Villas-Boas, while the likes of Jan Vertonghen and Gylfi Sigurdsson have arrived at White Hart Lane to bolster their ranks.
And Pardew knows his Magpies side will be given a stern test of their credentials on the opening day of the 2012/13 season.
"(Spurs) are a little bit different to last year because their style is slightly different," he explained.
"With the personnel, it is a little bit of a mystery what the team is going to be.
"We are kind of guessing what we think it is and we will work towards that, but I still think they will have a good season.
"They've got great players and a great manager, so it will be a tough game for us."
Pardew admitted he is still unsure of his starting line-up, with new signings Vurnon Anita and Romain Amalfitano in contention for a Magpies' debut.
"We've got a few guys who aren't at the level of the other players - Ben Arfa being one of them," said Pardew.
"He's a doubt for the weekend in terms of whether I'm going to start him or include him.
"Cabaye is a doubt, Papiss trained today (Thursday) and we will have to see on him, and Colo is on his way back from international duty but we believe he is okay.
"We might not be full strength - as Tottenham might not be - but we will grow as the season grows."
Tickets still remain for Saturday's game, so get your seat for the visit of Spurs by heading to the online Box Offic here.