Arsenal vs Newcastle | Match Preview
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Arsenal vs Newcastle | Match Preview

21/02/24 18:06

Arsenal look to win their 6th league match in a row and continue their title charge, as they take on a Newcastle side that will want to make up for a poor patch of form, after drawing to Bournemouth last time out.

2024 hasn’t been kind to Newcastle as they are still missing key individuals in their squad and have struggled to find form. With two losses, two draws and two wins to their name in the league, since the turn of the year, it’s fair to say the Magpies have been inconsistent.

They will have to visit a stadium where their record doesn’t make for easy viewing, as their last win at the Emirates Stadium came in 2010 thanks to an Andy Carroll goal. On every other occasion at Arsenal’s modern home, the team from Tyne-Side has failed to win with a current aggregate of 43-7.

However, out of the last 5 league meetings between these sides it’s equal, with both clubs claiming two wins and a draw. However, Arsenal in this time frame are the only team to claim an away victory. A win for Newcastle would be a massive statement win for the black and whites and would be the perfect platform to build some form on, but when considering Arsenal’s current form, luck may have to be on Newcastle’s side to leave with even a point

Given their recent form, it’s easy to forget that the current Arsenal side which are tearing up teams left, right and center claimed their first league defeat of the season at St James’ Park. There still is a debate ongoing as to whether Newcastle’s winner from Anthony Gordon was valid but the match proved that, on their day, Newcastle are a good match for Arsenal and will put up a fight.

With the state of Newcastle’s injury list, it is vital that they get a bit of luck and have some returning players this weekend. Callum Wilson, Nick Pope and Joelinton are all expected to be missing for a while in addition to Tonali’s infamous suspension. On a positive note, Alexander Isak is hopeful of a return this weekend alongside Joe Willock and Fabian Schar. The potential return of these players would add some much needed hope going into the fixture for the Newcastle fans.

Arsenal have been absolutely flying after their winter break in Dubai, with 21 goals scored and only 2 conceded across 5 games in the league. Mikel Arteta’s side came back from successive losses to West Ham and Fulham to a win streak with the goals flowing from their forwards. This feels like the best patch of form for some time on the red side of North London, with the away fans chanting, “stadium’s are empty everywhere we go”, at Turf Moor after successive big wins against West Ham and Burnley.

Even with Jesus out for the Gunners they have looked ruthless in front of goal and will look to continue in that vein by giving Newcastle a fright. However, the last time Newcastle faced Arsenal away from home, it was far from easy for the North London side, as they drew 0-0 and were the first side to avoid defeat at the Emirates Stadium last season in the Premier League. That was a very frustrating night for Arsenal as fans moaned about Newcastle’s defensive approach to the game. Last season’s match should be seen as a blueprint for how Eddie Howe will set up his Newcastle side.

It will be interesting to see who plays for Arsenal, as in the last two fixtures against Newcastle Mikel Arteta has opted for Jorginho in the deeper role in midfield. This would require Kai Havertz to drop out of the lineup, giving Arsenal a more rigid midfield. However, I don’t see this happening due to Havertz’s undeniable physical qualities and his ability to frustrate the Newcastle players, as proven by their last meeting (even if the German international was lucky to avoid a red card).

Arsenal are clear favourites due to their league position, recent form and incredible record at home against Newcastle. It will be an extremely difficult task for Newcastle to come away avoiding defeat, but it isn’t impossible and I wouldn’t write it out. Having said that, I am predicting a 2-0 win for the Gunners as I simply can’t see beyond them continuing their form on Saturday night.

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