United's last five opening results

2008/09 - United 1 Newcastle 1
2007/08 - United 0 Reading 0
2006/07 - United 5 Fulham 1
2005/06 - Everton 0 United 2
2004/05 - Chelsea 1 United 0
18/06/2009 08:00, Report by Steve Bartram

Brum relishing OT opener

The new Barclays Premier League season may be just under two months away, but Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish and co-owner David Sullivan are already looking forward to their opening day trip to Old Trafford.

The Blues, promoted as Championship runners-up behind Wolves, visit M16 in the opening weekend of the season. While the Midlanders have quickly been established as rank outsiders to take even a point from the game, manager McLeish has taken heart from United's slow start to the last two seasons.

"If I remember rightly a couple of years ago Reading went there on the opening day and dug out a draw and Newcastle did the same last season," he told "So we'll approach the game in a positive frame of mind and hopefully with a good pre-season behind us we can go there and cause a shock."

Co-owner Sullivan is similarly optimistic - albeit with a dose of realism - and is hoping the excitement of being back in the top flight can inspire a storming start to the campaign.

"Realistically we are going to be 10-1 to win and they are going to be 5-1 on, but United have had some slow starts to the season and let's hope that continues," he said. "We go to Old Trafford with optimism but the reality is that we are going to get nothing."

Birmingham's last visit to Old Trafford was on the first day of 2008, a year in which the Blues were relegated while United conquered England and Europe. Carlos Tevez scored the only goal of the Reds' New Year's Day win.


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