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Arsenal v Newcastle United – Eight defeats in nine?

Newcastle United visit the Emirates stadium this weekend, and after a miserable run, it is very difficult to see them picking up any points. 

Newcastle United v Everton - Premier League
Rafa Benitez knows just how difficult it will be at the Emirates on Saturday.
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Arsene Wenger confirmed that German defender Shkodran Mustafi would miss the game at West Ham in midweek, but would come into contention to play against Newcastle. The chances of him starting the game remain low, with Nacho Monreal expected to continue at centre-back, alongside Laurent Koscielny.

Sead Kolasinac has impressed when he has played for The Gunners, and looks likely to slot back into the left-back role this weekend, with Hector Bellerin starting on the opposite flank.

Aaron Ramsey looks set to miss the game, so Jack Wilshere may start for the second consecutive time. If the England international is not deemed fit enough to play another game from the start, then Francis Coquelin or Mohamed Elneny will partner Granit Xhaka.

Mesut Ozil will play, and will be somebody that Newcastle will have to pay particular attention to, as well as Alexis Sanchez, even though the Chilean has not been able to hit top form this season.

Alexandre Lacazette has been struggling with a groin injury in recent weeks, so may not be able to start the game against the Magpies, so his compatriot Olivier Giroud could lead the line once again. Theo Walcott, who has an excellent record against Newcastle, is definitely out.

Southampton v Arsenal - Premier League
Alexandre Lacazette has scored eight goals so far in his debut Premier League campaign.
Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Manager Rafa Benitez will be concerned as much as anybody about the current slump. He will be glad to have one of his more reliable performers, Paul Dummett, back for the trip to the Emirates. Javier Manquillo or Chancel Mbemba had been deputising at left-back in the Welshman's absence.

Jamaal Lascelles made his return in the Everton defeat and will definitely play against Arsenal, and the chances are that Florian Lejeune will play alongside him, despite struggling in the early stages of his Newcastle career. Ciaran Clark has not covered himself in glory either this season, and will remain on the bench.

Jonjo Shelvey will serve a two-match ban after his second red card of the season. The former Liverpool man received his second booking in the dying embers of the game. Mikel Merino will likely be paired up with Isaac Hayden in the midfield, who returns to his old stomping ground for the first time.

Christian Atsu and Matt Ritchie started on the flanks against the Toffees in midweek, but both will be looking over their shoulder. Jacob Murphy has harshly had to revert to the substitutes bench, but will be hoping for a chance, much like Rolando Aarons, who is yet to start a league game this season.

Newcastle United v Everton - Premier League
Matt Ritchie is yet to score this season.
Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Mo Diame has been subject to fierce criticism for much of his time on Tyneside, and looks set to be dropped for the upcoming game.

Ayoze Perez will probably slot back into the number ten position, which has become a serious issue for the Magpies.

Dwight Gayle struggled without a strike partner against Everton, so Benitez may be tempted to start both him and Joselu against Arsene Wenger’s side. Aleksandar Mitrovic did not even make the bench last time out and looks to be on the way out of the club.

Likely line ups

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Koscielny, Monreal, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Wilshere, Ozil, Welbeck, Sanchez, Giroud

Newcastle: Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Manquillo, Hayden, Merino, Ritchie, Perez, Atsu, Gayle

Score prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Newcastle United

The game has not been selected for TV coverage. You can also follow the match by tuning into BBC Radio Newcastle's live commentary, courtesy of the official NUFC website.