The Premier League fixtures are out at 9am this morning.
Even though we now accept that not a single one of these dates and times will be set in stone, due to live TV demands, is is still always a big moment of the summer.
Your chance to roughly map out your football season, with the order of when you are set to play the other 19 clubs home and away.
The summer transfer window closes at 5pm on Thursday 9 August, with the season then starting that weekend, with even the possibility of kicking off the campaign on the night of Friday 10 August if selected for live TV.
So we were wondering, who would fans like Newcastle United to play first?
We assumed that like us you would prefer Newcastle to both start and finish the season off at home, as happened last season (Spurs and Chelsea).
So the 19 options were simply the opposition, having assumed that the vast majority would want it to be at St James Park.
What is an ideal opposition on the first day?
We gave the following overview of why Newcastle might choose a certain club to kick off against, then we have what supporters voted for.
One of last season’s strugglers who almost got relegated, such as Southampton or Huddersfield?
Or what about one of the newcomers – catch Fulham, Cardiff or Wolves before they find their feet, or is the start of the season the worst time to play one of them when they are full of enthusiasm?
What about getting one of the ‘big six’ out of the way?
Maybe it is even ideal to play one of the better clubs with nothing to lose and any point(s) a bonus.
The World Cup is another factor to take into account, the thinking possibly being that clubs with a lot of players at the World Cup could be missing key players, especially if they play for the best national sides and get to the later stages.
Man City are top with 16 players competing in Russia, whilst Chelsea, Tottenham,, and Man Utd have 12 each. Leicester meanwhile, surprisingly have as many as eight players at the World Cup.
The results (rounded up or down to nearest whole percentage point):
14% Man City
8% Man Utd
6% West Ham
3% Crystal Palace
Some interesting points come out of the voting.
The top choices are either clubs that Newcastle would be expected to have the best chance of beating (Fulham 12%, Cardiff 11%, Southampton 7%), or the very hardest matches against last season’s top two (Man City 14%, Man Utd 8%) – a scenario of maybe get those out of the way and at same time maybe stand a chance when they have had so many players on international duty.
Meanwhile, at the other end it is just as telling.
The very bottom three choices are those clubs who finished in the three spaces above Newcastle last season, the teams that fans are hoping we could overhaul and recognising that they are solid teams who would be tough to beat in an opening match.
Not long now to wait for the real thing, Premier League fixtures up at 9am.