Arsenal (A) Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & score prediction

Do you want to good news or the bad news first?

Starting with the bad, Arsenal have won 17 of their last 18 meetings with Newcastle United. A horrible stat, but hopefully some extra motivation for the lads heading into this one.

Talk of extra motivation leads us nicely to the good news, with it confirmed on Friday afternoon that Eddie Howe WILL be in the dugout for Saturday’s early kick off at The Emirates – a huge boost that will be music to the ears for all involved!

After being stuck in a hotel room all week, watching our 3-3 draw with Brentford from afar, discussing tactics over the phone and watching all our training sessions in full while stuck in self isolation, the new boss will be on the touch line for the first time as Newcastle United head coach.

With last weekend’s performance being filled with positives and the players arriving into this one with another week of training under their belts, we’ll arrive with the sort of belief we’ve probably lacked all season.

I wouldn’t say the wind is in our sails just yet, however the confidence a good result here could give us heading into must-win games against Norwich and Burnley must not be underestimated.

This is a tough game, but also a massive opportunity to kickstart our season ahead of a huge month for the club.

Team news

Dwight Gayle is facing a late fitness test after feeling his hamstring in training, while Paul Dummett remains out with a calf injury – although it’s been reported he’ll be fit again in the coming weeks.

We have three walking the suspension tightrope heading into this one, as Callum Wilson, Matt Ritchie and Jamaal Lascelles are all just a yellow card away from a one-game ban.

As for Arsenal, Granit Xhaka remains out, but Kieran Tierney could be recalled after Nuno Tavares’ shocker at Anfield last weekend.

Predicted line ups

(3-4-2-1): Dubravka – Schar, Lascelles, Clark – Manquillo, Shelvey, Willock, Ritchie – Joelinton, Saint-Maximin – Wilson.

(4-4-1-1): Ramsdale – Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney – Saka, Partey, Lokonga, Smith-Rowe – Lacazette – Aubameyang.

I can see us making two changes here, with the first one seeing Martin Dubravka replace Karl Darlow.

Darlow cost us against Brentford and will have had a non-stop 48 hours after just becoming a dad for the first time. Big congratulations are in order for him and his other half, but this feels like the ideal time to bring Dubravka back into the side – a goalkeeper who can add confidence, an air of calm, decisiveness and improved communication to our disorganised back line.

I’d like to see Fernandez replace Clark – who looks well off the pace – however I fear the latter will retain his place as he’s the only left-footed centre-back fit at present (and Howe seems to like balance in that respect).

I’m backing Manquillo to come back in. I like Murphy and feel he can pose a real threat now our wing-backs appear to be pushing up, but he’s naïve defensively and could really struggle against the double threat of Smith-Rowe and Tierney tomorrow.

Elsewhere, I don’t see anything else changing, with Shelvey and Joelinton two of our best players last time out and Joe Willock likely to start against his boyhood club.

Match prediction

I’m feeling hopeful we’ll sneak a surprise result here.

I fear our leaky back line may be the difference between one point and three once again, but I do back us to cause Arsenal problems at the other end.

The battle will be finding a balance. To commit enough bodies forward to do damage, yet maintaining the level of disciplinal and energy levels needed to stop Arsenal having a field day when we’re out of possession.

Wilson to bag a brace and Dubravka to impress on his return to the side (fingers crossed!) in another high scoring draw.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-2 Newcastle

HOWE-AY THE LADS!

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.

43 thoughts on “Arsenal (A) Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & score prediction

  1. We had 23 shots, nine on target and 7 corners in the last game.

    We averaged a little over 5 shots in the Bruce/Jones/ Steves debacle.

    Jones out!!!!

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  2. I am sorry. But Jones was an apologist for Bruce and some games this season we have had only 1 or 2 shots. I think we had 1 shot against Chelsea. Howe comes in and has 23. Jones must go, and will go. He is an apalling coach. I dont care what anybody else says. 23rd of 24 in the second division for Luton. Shyte, shyte and more shyte. He needs to go. He is not a good coach and I have no idea why he has been kept on.

    #JonesOut.

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  3. Kimtoon: Why is it just us?

    I think I see Emirates and Etihad everywhere on football stadia. And GasProm at every European match. And Aramco at Fornula 1. How about Apple? They use Chinese slave labour. So many more examples …

    It wont last though, the PL Saudi objections I mean. There are just so many other examples of the same thing. You just have to look at the WC next year, and City and PSG and King Power. It is everyehere. They cannot all be hypocrites forever!!!

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  4. Some facts:

    Arsenal have only scored 13 times this season with 7 from open play. We have to watch out giving them free kicks and pens. They have let in 17. How can they possibly be in 5th place.

    Even NUFC have scored more – 15.

    I re-watched the Liverpool game and they were pretty crap. I think they had about 2 shots. That doesnt mean we will beat them, we hardly ever do.

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  5. BTW, Ramsdale fumbles a lot but also recovers. We need Wilson on him the whole game and I think we will score.

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  6. I think we will drop Darlow and Clark.

    Manquillo should come back in but I am not sure it will happen.

    That would be 3 changes.

    As I mentioned above, I watch Liverpool against Arsenal again from last week. It was even for about 20 mins and then Liverpool tore them apart. I hope Eddie and his crew watched it.

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  7. Well I hope we can something from the game but fear our fragile defense will let us down again.
    Eric, he has to bring in Dubs and yes Manquillo too.

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  8. Wow. We are playing 4-3-3.

    Dubs

    Krafth Lascelles Schar Ritchie

    Fraser Shelvey Willock

    JoeLinto Wilson ASM

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  9. remember with Jones we were taken apart by fcn Palace and were a Benteke away from the slaughter house? Then he played the same team against Chelsea the next week!!!

    Eddie is doing different stuff. No idea if it will work, but it is different.

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  10. This has to be high press. We dont have a defensive midfielder! We are sort of playing with 4 wingers – ASM, Ritchie, Joelinton and Fraser.

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  11. Not going to get anything from this ref whereas Arsenal are getting free kicks they shouldn’t have got.

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  12. Commentators over here are saying Arse have dominated. I thought we have played OK. Only that Auba miss but offset from the Shelvey attempt. Not really many saves for either keeper, or shots by either team. Except Arsenal seem to want to belt it wide.

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  13. Get Manquillo on and bring on Miggy for Fraser. And the sooner we get Fede back in the squad the better.

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  14. We are totally ****ed this season. There is no way on hells earth we pick up enough points to be save this season.

    We are awful. The defence is ****e and our players simply aren’t good enough.

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  15. Sharpy, Jabba $&£%ed us good not bringing in enough in last window and previous one. Also new owners took too long getting Howe in, he wasn’t in a job so no excuse. Should not of given Bruce those games.

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  16. Absolutely hopeless.

    If we don’t take 6 points from our next 2 games, the January window should be looking at players to get us out the championship never mind climbing the PL.

    But it should also be about ripping up a few contracts coz there are some players there who aren’t fit to wear football boots let alone our shirt!!.

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  17. No internet today so had to watch on my BT app on my phone. We are so shi.t. I think we are down. The refs are giving us nothing. Screwed us in at least 2 or 3 games early this season too. The refs and FA want us down. Our team has been mismanaged and had no proper investment for so long we will now pay the price. You cannot make a silk purse from a sows ear. And you cannot polish a turd. I think we are down.

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  18. kimtoon:
    Sharpy, Jabba $&£%ed us good not bringing in enough in last window and previous one. Also new owners took too long getting Howe in, he wasn’t in a job so no excuse. Should not of given Bruce those games.

    Kim – you could bring Pep, Klopp and Tuchel in and they would be able to do nowt with this bunch.

    Our defence is awful!!. Shelvey had his 1 in 10 game last week & was but to his usual self today. Willock ran but was totally ineffective. Joelinton did absolutely nothing.

    We don’t have the players, and the ones we have are awful.

    To stand any chance of survival, we HAVE to get 6 points in the next 2 – anything less and we are down before Xmas imo.

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