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Preview: Newcastle vs. Arsenal

Newcastle jump back into Premier League action when they host the Gunners.

Giroud always seems to score against Newcastle.
Giroud always seems to score against Newcastle.
Michael Regan/Getty Images

The schedule certainly doesn't get any easier for Newcastle as they jump back into Premier League play. A week after they played Manchester United to a 0-0 draw, the Mags welcome Arsenal to St. James' Park. Newcastle will be looking for their first win of the Premier League campaign. History might be against the Mags though. They haven't beaten Arsenal at home since 2005, and have lost their last seven matches to the Gunners.

But, after a good draw at ManU, and a solid win in the CapitalOne Cup, maybe Newcastle have got their tails up and can earn their first win of the season. Or maybe score a goal? Since their two against Southampton, it's been two straight matches without a tally for Newcastle.

Let's take a look at the Gunners ahead of Saturday's match.

Arsenal

Manager: Perhaps you've heard of Arsene Wenger? He's been patrolling the dugout for Arsenal since 1996. However, some supporters have been grumbling in recent years about Arsenal's inability to win the league. However, as long as he keeps clinching Champion's League spots, he's probably safe.

Who's new: Petr Cech is the big signing of the summer, and it was hoped the former Chelsea man could backstop Arsenal to a title. Of course, we can't call in the results of that yet, but let's call the 0-2 loss to West Ham on opening day an "auspicious" start.

Last week: Both teams will be hungry for goals, as Arsenal played Liverpool to a 0-0 draw.

Injury concerns: Plenty. Five players will miss the trip to the northeast. Danny Welback, Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky, Per Mertesacker, and Laurent Koscienly are all set to miss the game. With two center backs doubtful, Newcastle might be able to get something going on the attack.

This fixture last year: Arsenal got two goals from Olivier Giroud to win 2-1. Sissoko scored the lone goal for Newcastle.

What to look for: This could see some goals. Arsenal will be looking to get three points and shake off their rough start. Newcastle are looking for their first win and some goals of their own. If both teams go for it, with some shaky backlines, we could see some excitement.

Also: the commentators will mention Cheik Tiote's goal against Arsenal about fifty times. Seventy if he plays.

Newcastle news and notes: Darrly Janmaat is back after suspension, so there's that. Moussa Sissoko might be back as well, as he recovers from a groin injury. Also, if Tim Krul gets a clean sheet, it will be the first time since November 2014 that Newcastle earned back to back shutouts.

Projected line-ups:

Newcastle: Krul; Janmaat, Coloccini, Taylor, Haidara; Sissoko, Anita; Thauvin, Wijnaldum, Perez; Mitrovic.

Arsenal: Cech; Monreal, Chambers, Gabriel, Bellerin; Coquelin, Cazorla, Sanchez, Ramsay; Ozil, Giroud

For Newcastle to win: They have to beat Cech, which is never easy to beat. They'll need to keep better control of the ball than they did at Old Trafford. Stepping up in the midfield will be key. Defensively, more of the same from what we saw last week. Coloccini was back to his old self and will need to be a leader in the backline again. Also, as noted here, scoring off set-pieces would be neat.

How to watch: Match will be the early game on Saturday. It will be on NBCSN