Arsenal kick-off the second half of the Premier League campaign as they host struggling Newcastle United at the Emirates stadium.
Arsenal may be sitting at the top of the table, but there is no space for comfort as they must keep on winning to end their twelve year old title drought. With 39 points from the 19 matches, first in the league by virtue of superior goal difference against Leicester City, the Gunners should be considered clear favorites to win this one backed by their recent emphatic performances.
Newcastle United are struggling since the start of the season and the points come for them so far this season in bits and pieces. Only four wins for Steve McLaren side from 19 matches this season and life at foot of the table is expected to continue judging by the current run of form.
The Gunners are on an eight match winning streak against the Magpies in the English Premier League.
The last three meetings between the two sides at Emirates witnessed 18 goals, including a 7-3 win for Arsenal in December 2012. The overall goal tally tips in the favor of Arsenal by 14 goals to 4.
The last match against Newcastle United ended in a 1-0 win for Arsenal at the St James’ Park in August, courtesy of a Fabricio Coloccini own goal after Mitrovic was sent-off in the first half.
Team Form Guide
Arsenal bounced backed from a 4-0 shock defeat against Southampton with a brilliant display to see-off newly promoted Bournemouth 2-0 at home in their last outing. With Mesut Ozil in brilliant form combined with Giroud’s poaching instincts, the Gunners seem to look like the team to beat this season, despite their deep injury crisis.
Steve McClaren’s men looked to have found their feet in the league with back-to-back wins over Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. But since then, then failed to win all of the next three matches, with just one point from possible nine.
Arsenal : Team News
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could retain their positions in the squad at the expense of Campbell
It will be interesting to see if Gabriel is handed after another start by Wenger, following a faultless performance in their 2-0 win over Bournemouth last time out.
Mathieu Flamini could be a doubt for this fixture, which will see Calum Chambers once against start in midfield alongside Aaron Ramsey.
Nacho Monreal is expected to start being rested in the last match against the newly promoted Cherries.
Arsenal : Predicted Line-Up
Newcastle : Team News
Steve McLaren is sweating out with injuries to as many as 12 players in his squad.
Vurnon Anita, who limped off against the Baggies has been ruled out of Saturday’s match with a hamstring problem.
The team is waiting on the fitness of Rob Elliot after the goalkeeper was withdrawn moments before kick off against West Brom threw illness.
Both Ayoze Perez and Aleksandar Mitrovic are expected to start in the attack, with Siem de Jong also an option.
Newcastle : Predicted Line-Up
Arsenal vs Newcastle : Prediction
Arsenal will be going into this match with full confidence following their recent results. Moreover, their strong record against Newcastle will be an added boost.
Moreover, Arsene Wenger has won 10 of his 11 Premier League meetings against Steve McClaren.
The Gunners will be desperate for a win to keep pressure on the teams at the top of the Premier League table and I expect a confident performance to rise to the occasion.
I also expect Petr Cech who just broke the record of most number of clean sheets in Premier League, to add another one to his account.
My prediction for this match will be 2-0 in favor of Arsenal.[interaction id=”5686658592bdd93309c5651a”]