Newcastle United head into this game yet to record a victory in the Premier League. The Magpies’ daunting run of fixtures are coming to an end. Out of the top six teams in this run, there was always a feeling that Newcastle had a better chance of toppling the Gunners than Spurs, Chelsea or Manchester City.
Rafael Benitez confirmed in his press conference on Friday afternoon that both Matt Ritchie and Jonjo Shelvey are fit to play, both players will be involved in the squad for Arsenal’s visit.
Unai Emery has no fresh injury concerns, Alex Iwobi missed the win at Cardiff before the international break through illness but is now available, while those who traveled to represent their countries returned unscathed.
Arsenal sit ninth in the table and have won two and lost two so far under new manager Unai Emery. The Gunners have looked very shaky at the back so far this season, something that Newcastle can capitalize on. It is clear that it will take time for Arsenal to adjust to life after Arsene Wenger, Unai Emery has a different style of play that Arsenal have to get used to. Emery is encouraging his players to play out from the back, in recent weeks Petr Cech has looked very uncomfortable with this.
Rafael Benitez is expected to be a bit more adventurous against Arsenal than in recent games against top six sides. It is unclear who will get the nod up front with Salomon Rondon having not returned from International duty until Thursday.
The two sides have met a total of 46 times in the Premier League. The Magpies have come out on top in ten of those games - with six coming at home - while Arsenal have beaten Newcastle on 26 occasions, including nine away victories. The last time the two sides met was back in April, with Newcastle sealing a 2-1 home win.
Newcastle are desperate for a win, with some more promising fixtures on the horizon, three points against Arsenal could just kick start their campaign. The Majority of bookmakers and pundits have this down as an Arsenal victory, I am going against the grain and predicting a Newcastle win.
Newcastle 2 Arsenal 1