Newcastle begins a busy week against an Arsenal side that's battling injuries. Jak Alnwick will get a full debut at keeper as Newcastle look to get past Arsenal and get ever closer to qualifying for Europe. While the Mags will be full of confidence, Arsenal isn't usually a very welcoming host. Last year, the Gunners won 3-0, and in 2012 blew away Newcastle with a 7-3 win.
This season, Arsenal are maybe a little off their usual pace. They find themselves in sixth place, on the outside looking in of European competition. They had won two in a row before getting upended 3-2 by Stoke last week. The Gunners have scored 24 goals on the campaign, with 9 of them coming from Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez has scored five of his goals at home. No other Arsenal player has more than one home goal. Defensively, Arsenal has been vulnerable. They've given up 18 goals, same as Newcastle. They do have five clean sheets on the campaign.
When Arsenal do give up goals, they come from the center of the penalty area, with 39% of their goals allowed coming from that area. They have some difficulty defending the right channel, with a third of their goals conceded coming from there as well.
Newcastle would love to get a result in this match. With the Capital One Cup tie at Tottenham coming up midweek, and the derby next Sunday, the Mags would love to start a hot streak. With a third string keeper getting the start, any type of result will do. The coming week will be full of emotion, and Newcastle will be looking to give the Toon Army something to sing about on Saturday.