Great news for NUFC as Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal suffer nightmare preparation for Sunday’s game

Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal may have emerged through to the semi-finals of the Europa League last night, but there’s several reasons why it could come at a cost ahead of Sunday’s trip to St James’ Park.

The Gunners were in Europa League action on Thursday night, and not only did it involve a long-haul trip to a sub-zero Moscow, they endured a tough game against a CSKA side who made them work for it.

With their hopes of a top four finish over and them relying on winning the Europa League to qualify for next season’s Champions League, Wenger fielded a strong side (despite them winning the first leg 4-1 at the Emirates last week and playing us in the league on Sunday).

It didn’t seem to help, however, with CSKA Moscow going 2-0 up and on the brink of knocking them out.

They recovered in the end, bringing it back to 2-2 late on to send them through to the semi-finals, but the game ended past midnight (local time) and will have taken plenty out of them prior to their trip north to St James’ Park in just over 24 hours time.

Here’s what Football.London’s Charles Watts has had to say about their tricky situation ahead of Sunday:

“Arsenal will not get back from Russia until the early hours of Friday morning, they will then make the trip to Tyneside on Saturday.

“The crazy fixture scheduling gives Arsenal no time to recover physically so Wenger will be sure to ring the changes at St James’ Park.

“So the Arsenal boss will be carefully managing his players’ workload and assessing how many minutes certain players need to feature for on Thursday, if they are in his plans to take on Newcastle.”

To add to all that, Ramsey and Wilshere picked up knocks along the way and they looked shocking defensively and pretty dire as a team, lacking fight or intensity despite it being a game they should’ve been bang up for (bodes well for Sunday!).

I’ve got a good feeling about Sunday as it is, and all of the above (and below) only makes me feel more confident..

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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