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

The busy schedule continues but we come into Saturday night’s clash with Arsenal on a high, returning to Tyneside with a spring in our step after that brilliant 3-0 win over Man Utd in midweek.

It was one of THE most satisfying and impressive wins of the Eddie Howe era, as several forgotten Mags impressed on their first starts of the season. It handed much-needed rests to several key players in need of a break and regains some momentum we’d lost after frustrating results against Borussia Dortmund and Wolves.

Arsenal will be another huge test, but they lost 3-1 at West Ham while we were running riot at Old Trafford, giving us no reason to fear following a run of four wins and two draws in our last six league games.

Reflecting on Wednesday’s win and looking ahead to the Arsenal test ahead, Howe had this to say in Friday’s press conference:

“It was great to be able to give everyone an opportunity and I thought they responded magnificently. It was a brilliant team effort. I thought the spirit, determination and collective mindset was at the highest level. We are in a good place mentally after the win – the whole squad will be lifted by that performance.

“Arsenal last year, it speaks for itself what they achieved. I think they have moved on from last year, mentally moved on and stepped it up. They are unbeaten, it is a really big test of our credentials. We are going to have to find ways to make it very difficult for them but we are looking forward to the game.”

Team news

It looks like we’ll be without NINE first-team players in Alexander Isak (groin), Jacob Murphy (dislocated shoulder), Elliot Anderson (back), Sven Botman (knee), Sandro Tonali (suspension) Lewis Miley (glandular fever), Harvey Barnes (foot) and Javier Manquillo (groin), with Matt Targett (hamstring) also sidelined after his injury at Old Trafford.

Fabian Schar has been unwell this week, but Howe seems to think he’ll be OK. With Botman out and unlikely to return anytime soon, let’s hope he makes a full recovery.

For the visitors, Martin Odegaard is expected to return alongside Gabriel after both were benched for their 5-0 win over Sheffield United. Gabriel Jesus, Thomas Partey, Jurrien Timber and Emile Smith-Rowe will miss out.

Predicted line ups

(4-3-3): Pope – Trippier, Lascelles, Schar, Burn – Longstaff, Bruno, Joelinton – Almiron, Wilson, Gordon.  

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I expect all of those who were rested on Wednesday night to return here, meaning Pope, Trippier, Lascelles, Schar, Burn, Bruno and Wilson should come back into the side.

There’ll be a temptation to play Livramento and/or Hall after both delivered outstanding displays in the cup, but this is a defence that’s kept four clean sheets in our last six league games. Their time will come again soon in the coming weeks.

In midfield, I don’t think Willock will start two games four days after his first start in six months, so it could be Joelinton alongside Bruno and Longstaff, with Callum Wilson returning up top after a rest.


The Gunners lost in midweek, but they’ll have big guns back for this one, with Saliba, Odegaard, Martinelli and Saka all fit and ready to return.

However, this is a Newcastle side who’ve lost just three Premier League home games in two years under Howe. One of those came against Arsenal back in May, but our midweek win gives us a huge lift and included much-needed rests for several key players.

It’ll be a tough test. I expect them to try and silence the crowd, keep the ball and attempt to break our press while playing out from the back, but I back us to compete and come away with a point.

NUFC Blog prediction: Newcastle 1-1 Arsenal


About Olly Hawkins

As a Junior Magpie since birth and season ticket holder, I eat, sleep and breathe all things NUFC! Here at the blog, I aim to bring you news, views, match reports and transfer exclusives as and when I get them.

10 thoughts on “Arsenal (H) Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & prediction

  1. The team does seem to pick itself at the moment.
    The only real backup is lascelles and he’s not exactly a weakness.
    The problem as we have seen is fatigue.
    The real January concern for me is still 3rd striker (currently Gordon)
    We seem to have depth at the back. Good to see Krafth back.
    And Midfield despite losing Tonali. Welcome back little Joe

    As to the match, IF we have a full tank of Gas I can see us winning this, however, fatigue could cost us.


  2. Hard to view today in isolation from the midweek games.

    After a great result against MUFC I’m Looking forward to what is going to be a test of resolve / teamwork over the next week for a nufc team that is essentially the same as last season due to the injuries against an improved AFC and a very effective Dortmund

    Changes aplenty today from Wednesdays win with that performance showing some options for changing it up if required.

    AFC are a classy team who edge NUFC on quality and are very able to match them physically and mentally so a tough ask for the toon to win.


  3. Got to agree, Arsenal are class and I just think we will be too tired to match them sadly. A draw would be great all things considered.


  4. Murphy and Miley are on the bench! Good news … this will be one of our toughest tests this evening. Hope we can Nick it. A tough 1-0 to us. ????


  5. Well that was a scrappy half. Ref has lost it. Poor! Havertz defo red. How can he book 3 of our players from that? Then Bruno has lost it too. Very stupid, and he’s lucky not to be off … we need to sort our discipline in the second half


  6. Oh my .. just checked in on a break on my Roadtrip to North Carolina. What a brilliant result.
    Will very much enjoy replay tonight with a few beers and the Atlantic ocean crashing in the background. ToonToon


  7. They tried every way they could to try and take away the goal, but in the end they had to give it. Good goal. Scrappy game but defensively we were immense


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