Saturday’s Premier League action gets underway at the Emirates Stadium as fifth-placed Arsenal welcome basement boys Newcastle United.
Without the distraction of European football, Mikel Arteta has had a week to rally his troops following a 4-0 thumping to Liverpool at Anfield last time out.
Although they were knocked down from an eight-game unbeaten run in the Premier League, the Gunners will be confident of getting back to winning ways.
Standing in their way will be an out-of-form Newcastle side who have yet to pick up a victory in England’s top-flight this season.
Rooted to the foot of the table, the Magpies sit five points adrift of safety and enter this encounter as overwhelming outsiders.
The Tyneside outfit are bidding to become only the second team in a 38-match Premier League season to avoid relegation after a 12-game winless start.
Arsenal vs Newcastle United Preview
There is a good reason Newcastle head into proceedings as underdogs, with the Magpies suffering a staggering 16 defeats across their last 17 Premier League meetings with Arsenal (W1).
Additionally, since eking out a 1-0 victory in September 2010, the visitors have lost their subsequent nine top-flight visits to the Emirates, drawing a blank in the last five on the trot.
The Gunners have scored the opening goal in their last 16 Premier League clashes against Newcastle en route to setting an unprecedented feat in the competition’s history.
Against Liverpool, Arsenal have conceded as many goals as they had in their previous eight Premier League outings, suggesting Arteta has found the recipe to keep his side compact at the back.
The Gunners will have to muster that defensive stubbornness if they are to keep their remarkable 21-match unbeaten home record against sides starting the day bottom of the table intact (W15, D6).
They have won their last eight such fixtures in a row by an aggregate score of 23-2, highlighting the potential for ‘just another day in the office.’
Arsenal’s cagey entries at the Emirates have seen them concede just two first-half goals across their opening six Premier League home games this term.
That’s the type of defending that should allow the likes of Emile Smith Rowe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to work their magic and ensure another routine three points for the Londoners.
The Gunners’ captain has tallied six goals and three assists in his last six competitive appearances against Newcastle, while his four league goals scored this season have come at home.
Newcastle United Preview
New manager Eddie Howe marked his Premier League debut at St James’ Park with an enthralling 3-3 draw with the league newcomers Brentford last time out.
Despite sparking Newcastle’s attacking set-up into life on his debut, Howe could have the misfortune of being in the dugout when the Magpies match their worst winless Premier League run in the 21st century.
Newcastle are winless in their opening 12 top-flight matches this term (D6, L6), last enjoying a longer such streak in England’s top division back in March 2008 – 13 on that occasion.
Howe has a disastrous managerial Premier League record against Arsenal, having won just one of his ten matches against the Gunners in the competition (D2, L7).
To earn his first points at the Emirates at the sixth time of asking as a manager, Howe will need Newcastle’s Allan Saint-Maximin to be at this best.
The lightning-fast forward has registered three goals and three assists in the Premier League this season, playing his part in 40% of the Magpies’ overall top-flight goals scored so far.
Arsenal vs Newcastle United Predicted Line-ups
Arsenal (4-4-1-1): Aaron Ramsdale; Kieran Tierney, Gabriel, Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu; Albert Sambi Lokonga, Thomas Partey, Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette.
Newcastle United (3-4-3): Karl Darlow; Ciaran Clark, Jamaal Lascelles, Emil Krafth, Matt Ritchie, Jonjo Shelvey, Joe Willock, Jacob Murphy, Allan Saint-Maximin, Callum Wilson, Joelinton.
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