Papiss Cisse and Fabricio Coloccini

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor


Fabricio Coloccini insists United are relishing their Barclays Premier League opener against big boys Manchester City.

Newcastle travel to the Etihad Stadium on Monday night (8pm kick-off) for a clash against the 2011/12 champions, who have not only changed manager this summer with the arrival of Manuel Pellegrini but also considerably strengthened their playing staff.

To some it may look like the worst possible way to kick-off a new campaign but captain Coloccini has a very different opinion, following a pre-season schedule which saw the Magpies only taste defeat once.

"It's a good one," said the Argentine centre-back told about Monday's fixture.

"It's a big game to start the season with, against a big club and will be nice for us.

"I think it is the best game for us, as players, to start with. It is a real chance to show how good we are against one of the best teams in the league.

"We know it is going to be difficult but we have the team to go there and get at least a point.

"We cannot wait to start the season now. Pre-season has been tough and you just want to start the proper matches so you can show what you are capable of."