After dropping the ball against Leeds on New Year’s Eve and getting limited to a goalless draw against the Whites at St James’ Park, Newcastle will fly to London to face Arsenal and kick 2023 off.
The Magpies didn’t lose their last game, sure, but they have accustomed us to much better results than a paltry 0-0 as the one folks visiting SJP on Saturday endured before feasting on food ahead of the final flip of the calendar page of 2022. And on top of everything, it was raining cats and dogs all over Tyneside. Sheesh...
Newcastle’s next opponent Arsenal sit pretty atop the Premier League table and the Gunners have built a smooth seven-point padding with second-place Man City while being nine points clear of NUFC in third.
It’s going to be a hard one for Eddie Howe and the Men in Black & White, but it will also be a top-3 clash between two behemoths fighting for Premier League supremacy. As is always the case on Friday mornings and all other sort of days preceding a game, Eddie Howe addressed a bunch of different topics ahead of Tuesday’s matchup against the Goon.
Asked if the squad was strong enough to get through January without signing anybody:
“If we didn’t sign anybody, I love the group. I think we have a really strong team.”
“The thing we have to guard against is injuries at this time of year”
Speaking about Callum Wilson, who had been out for a while entering New Year’s Eve game:
“Callum only trained the day before the game for the first time in 7 or 8 days.”
“I didn’t consider him fit enough to start the game. It wasn’t a difficult decision.”
Discussing the possibility of keeping Garang Kuol around this season:
“It’s a possibility Garang could train with us for a little while.”
“(But) I do think that for the player’s development he needs to go and play.”
“If possible, that would be at a very good level, with a good club and a good coach.”
The Premier League kicked off 2023 with a couple of Sunday games but those belonged to MD18. The MD19 slate is played between Monday and Thursday with Newcastle not having a chance of overtaking Arsenal but odds of falling to fourth if Man Utd win and the Magpies can’t earn at least one point at London.
Man City is just two points above Newcastle on the table, so a loss by the Pep Squad (next Thursday) paired with an upset by NUFC at the Emirates would mean Howe and the lads would go to sleep Thursday ranked second.
Sounds good to me, even more considering there will be no more Premier League football until Jan. 12 as the FA Cup (NUFC vs. Sheffield Wednesday) and the Carabao Cup (NUFC vs. Leicester) will be played during the weekend and the early days of next week.
- Date: Tuesday, January 2nd
- Kick-off: 19:45 BST / 16:45 EST / 14:45 PST
- Location: Emirates Stadium, London (England)
- Broadcasts: fuboTV (CAN) — SiriusXM FC, nbcsports.com, NBC Sports App, USA Network, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo, UNIVERSO NOW, UNIVERSO (USA) — Sky Ultra HD, SKY GO Extra, Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Main Event, BBC Radio 5 Live (UK)
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