Arsenal will be aiming to return to winning ways in the Premier League when they lock horns against Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium on Monday.
The games continue to come thick and fast in the 2020/21 Premier League, as Matchweek 19 continues on Monday night when Arsenal welcome Newcastle United to the Emirates Stadium.
After a disastrous run of results, which saw Mikel Arteta’s job being called into question, Arsenal have managed to turn their Premier League form around of late, going on a four-game unbeaten run which has seen them move to the 11th spot in the table. However, a goalless draw against Crystal Palace last time out will have dampened spirits somewhat and Mikel Arteta will be hoping for a quick turnaround of fortunes.
Newcastle United, on the other hand, are on an eight-game winless streak in all competitions since a 2-1 win over Fulham early in December. Last time out, they lost 1-0 to bottom-feeders Sheffield United, which has left them in the 15th place in the standings, seven clear of the drop zone. Manager Steve Bruce will need to spark a resurgence soon or the Magpies could find themselves dragged into the relegation dogfight.
Arsenal and Newcastle have already met once this season, in the third round of the FA Cup earlier this month, with the Gunners carving out a 2-0 win. And ahead of their latest meeting on Monday night at the Emirates, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both the teams.
Team News & Tactics
Arsenal will have to make do without the services of defender Pablo Mari, who picked up an injury in training. Apart from the Spaniard, Mikel Arteta has greeted some good news on the fitness front as both Gabriel Martinelli and Kieran Tierney have recovered from their issues and have returned to training.
Mikel Arteta is likely to make a few changes to the team that was unable to get past Crystal Palace last time out. No alterations are expected in goal though, with Bernd Leno being the undisputed starter. Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding should hold on to their places in the backline, but David Luiz and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are set to drop out.
In their places, Gabriel Magalhaes and the fit-again Tierney should feature on Monday. The return of the latter, in particular, will be key as the creative outlet he provides on the left flank was hugely missed in the last game.
Thomas Partey, who has worked his way back from injury, should start in the middle of the park, in place of Dani Ceballos, with Granit Xhaka set to partner him.
No changes are expected in the front four, though, with Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang slotting out wide while Emile Smith Rowe plays in the hole behind Alexandre Lacazette. The link-up between Saka and Smith Rowe will be critical for the Gunners to be able to unlock a Newcastle side that will, in all probability, look to sit deep and defend.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang; Lacazette
Steve Bruce has no fresh injury concerns to contend with ahead of his side’s trip to London. Jonjo Shelvey, Jamaal Lascelles and Jamal Lewis are all back in training after missing out against Sheffield United. However, Federico Fernandez is a major doubt, while Ryan Fraser is suspended after being sent off last time.
Allan Saint-Maximin is also back in training after recovering from coronavirus. However, the winger is likely to be eased back into action by the manager, given his lengthy absence. Karl Darlow will be the man between the sticks for the Magpies, with the rest of the team setting up in a defensive 5-4-1 formation in front of him.
DeAndre Yedlin and the returning Lewis ought to be the two full-backs, who will look to stay deep and compact when not in possession but will push forward to support in any counter-attacking situations. Lascelles should make his way back into the starting XI to partner Fabian Schar and Ciaran Clark at the heart of the Newcastle backline.
The defence will further be shielded by the central midfield partnership of Jeff Hendrick and Sean Longstaff. Former Arsenal man, Isaac Hayden is also an option for Bruce, while Shelvey can also be considered if the manager opts for a more creative presence.
Miguel Almiron, who was not part of the starting XI against Sheffield United, should get the nod on the right. He will provide the outlet for the visitors on the counter with his pace and ability on the ball. On the opposite wing, Joelinton should get the nod, with the forward looking to veer in from the flanks and support the lone striker in Callum Wilson.
Probable Lineup (5-4-1): Darlow; Yedlin, Schar, Lascelles, Clark, Lewis; Almiron, Hendrick, Longstaff, Joelinton; Wilson
1. Arsenal to beat Newcastle @ 1.40
1. Alexandre Lacazette to score first @ 4.00
- Arsenal have won 14 of their last 15 Premier League matches against Newcastle United. The only defeat during this run came in April 2018.
- Since a 1-0 win back in November 2010, Newcastle United have lost on their last eight Premier League visits to the Emirates Stadium.
- Arsenal have kept a clean sheet in each of their last four matches across all competitions. Newcastle United, on the other hand, have managed just one shut-out in their last nine competitive fixtures.
- Steve Bruce has managed 30 games in his career against Arsenal, winning just two of those (D6 L22).
- Arsenal have kept a clean sheet in their last 5 home matches against Newcastle United in all competitions.
Player to Watch
Emile Smith Rowe
Majority of the first half of Arsenal’s season was blighted by issues in the final third, with the lack of a creative presence hurting them big time following Mesut Ozil’s exile from the first-team picture. However, that issue has somewhat been resolved by the integration of Emile Smith Rowe into the side over the recent weeks.
The 20-year-old has made four league appearances this term and has managed to assist two goals, with Arsenal not losing any of those matches. He was also the difference-maker for the Gunners in their FA Cup win against Newcastle, scoring after coming on as a substitute.
Across all competitions, the Englishman has averaged a goal involvement every 88 minutes this term, highlighting the kind of impact he can make. Smith Rowe’s flourishing partnership with Bukayo Saka has been a treat to watch as well and the duo will once again hold the key on Monday night if Arsenal are to take anything from the game.
Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle United
Arsenal, despite their failure to win against Crystal Palace last time out, go into the game as the favourites and rightly so. After a frustrating start to the campaign, Mikel Arteta seems to have landed on a formula that is working for them in the attacking third of the pitch. They will also be boosted by the returns of Kieran Tierney and Gabriel Martinelli.
That, coupled with Newcastle’s lack of real quality in attack, barring Callum Wilson, should see the Gunners ease to their second win of the season against the Magpies on Monday night, sending them into the top half of the Premier League standings.