Arsenal look to bounce back from last weekend’s heavy defeat at Liverpool. Newcastle desperately search for the win that could lift them from the bottom of the EPL table.
After going 10-games unbeaten in all tournaments, Arsenal’s run came to a sickening end at Anfield last weekend. The Gunners will now be aiming to get back into winning ways during Saturday’s Premier League lunchtime kick-off against Newcastle United.
The Londoners went down 4-0 to Liverpool last time out, while Eddie Howe’s reign at Newcastle began with a pulsating 3-3 draw with Brentford.
Ahead of this fixture, Mikel Arteta’s home team sit in 5th position in the EPL table, having accumulated 20 points from 12 games so far. The Magpies are last, with a mere 6 points, from a possible 36.
Arsenal have no new injury problems to deal with for this game, and the hosts have been given a major boost with the news that Swiss midfielder, Granit Xhaka, could now be in line for a return from his knee injury before the calendar year ends.
Sead Kolašinac continues to recover from his serious ankle problem, but there should be a change in defence regardless, with Kieran Tierney replacing Nuno Tavares after the Portuguese left-back’s nervy display at Anfield.
Aside from Tierney’s reintroduction, the lineup should be the same again for the Gunners, as Albert Sambi Lokonga continues to hold his place in midfield, despite pressure from Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
As for Newcastle, Fabian Schär came off with a hamstring strain against Brentford, so Swedish international, Emil Krafth, may come into the defence if Howe continues with a three-man backline.
Joe Willock has been out of form in front of goal but will aim to start against his former club. The same applies for Isaac Hayden. Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Martin Dúbravka make a return in goal.
Paul Dummett is the only definite absentee for the visitors, and it remains to be seen if Howe will be permitted to travel to the capital for this game following his positive COVID-19 test.
Newcastle always look dangerous when striker, Allan Saint-Maximin, is on the ball. However, their miserable defensive record speaks for itself. We expect a 2-1 home victory for Arsenal.