Newcastle United host Arsenal at St James’s Park this Saturday which is anticipated to be a highly competitive and stands as the marquee fixture of the week.
In the previous matchweek, Newcastle United was held to a draw by Wolves at the Molineux stadium. Calum Wilson who has been in fine form in recent times gave the Magpies the lead in two instances in the first half, but Wolves did really well against a strong opposition to comeback and get a vital point for themselves. The Magpies do have the best goal difference in the league but they have managed to pick up only 17 points in their first 10 matches and sit at the 6th spot in the league.
As for the visitors, Arsenal put on an impressive performance by defeating Sheffield United and scoring five goals at the Emirates Stadium. Eddie Nketiah’s quick-fire hattrick, substitute goals from Fabio Viera and a debut goal for Takehiro Tomiyasu meant that they guaranteed 24 points and are sitting on the 2nd spot just two points behind their North London rivals Tottenham.
In midweek action, Newcastle went head-to-head with Manchester United, emerging victorious with a convincing 3-0 scoreline despite fielding their C team. Meanwhile, Arsenal took on West Ham and suffered an unexpected 3-1 defeat, fielding some of their regular bench players. As a result, Arsenal’s Carabao Cup journey came to an end, while Newcastle advanced to the next round of the EFL Cup.
Eddie Howe will be aware of Arteta’s tactical approach, but will he be able to stop the Gunners and hand them their first loss of the season?
WHEN AND WHERE?
Date: 4th November 2023, Saturday
Time: 23:00 HRS IST
Venue: St James’s Park
Referee: Stuart Attwell.
Assistants: Richard West, James Mainwaring.
Fourth official: Graham Scott.
VAR: Andy Madley.
Assistant VAR: Stuart Burt.
Harvey Barnes and Sven Botman are both out for a longer period of time with the former expected to be back in 2024. Additionally, Alexander Isak and Jacob Murphy sustained injuries during the Champions League match against Dortmund last week, which resulted in them being unavailable for the recent match against Wolves.
Sandro Tonali has been banned for 10 months for illegal betting.
As for the visitors, Jurien Timber is Arsenal’s only long-term absentee from the squad as he continues to recover from his surgery.
Thomas Partey is expected to be out for 4-6 weeks. Arsenal hope to have him back in the congested period in December.
Gabriel Jesus came out after a strange knock against Sevilla a week ago where he pointed out to his hamstring. This injury forced the Brazilian to miss the match vs Sheffield, and while Arteta couldn’t provide a specific timeframe for his return, Gabriel Jesus is actively working towards regaining match fitness. Arteta also confirmed that Emile Smith Rowe will be unavailable for several weeks, which is a significant setback for the Gunners.
PRE-GAME TACTICAL ANALYSIS
Newcastle will mostly feature in a 4-3-3 formation, particularly of the same lineup they’ve put together in their last 2 fixtures. Gordan, Wilson and Almiron expected to keep their place in attack. The Newcastle frontline will face a difficult task on Saturday against an Arsenal defence which has conceded just eight Premier League goals this season.
Arsenal will bring Gabriel into the back 4 after resting him vs Sheffield United and continue with the same backline replacing Kiwior. Jorginho is expected to hold the tempo of the match with Rice next to him. Martin Odegaard will also be back into the side with Martinelli and Saka as the wingers. Eddie is expected to start again too.
Both teams have renowned attacks in the league and they’ll look to put each other under pressure from the first whistle and take advantage of the quick football both play.
Arsenal have had an impressive record against away sides as they’ve managed to pick up 10 points in 4 games. Newcastle have scored more goals in the opening 45 minutes than any other team (10) this season.
The Gunners have also had the upper hand in this fixture of late with 3 wins from the last five games between these teams. Newcastle have just one win against Arsenal in the last five matchups while there has also been one draw.
The Magpies striker is the top scorer for the club this season with 7 goals in 9 Premier League appearances while starting just 4. Wilson is averaging a goal every 61 minutes in the Premier League this season, the best figure of any player to have played at least 90 minutes so far. Wilson scored a brace against Wolves in their recent match and he seems like a serious threat upfront. Will the 31-year-old striker be the difference maker when faces one of the best defences in the league?
Nketiah has been Arsenal’s joint top scorer this season bagging 5 goals. His hattrick against Sheffield United last matchweek had been the talk of the town after an impressive display. If he plays the match vs Newcastle United, it’ll be his 100th Premier League appearance for Arsenal and the 66th player in total for Arsenal to reach this feat. Eddie will need to be at his sharpest form to link up play and stay a constant threat for the Newcastle defence.
Arsenal predicted lineup vs Newcastle United: Raya, Tomiyasu, Gabriel, Saliba, White, Rice, Jorginho, Odegaard, Martinelli, Eddie, Saka.
Newcastle United predicted lineup vs Arsenal: Pope, Trippier, Lascelles, Schar, Burn, Longstaff, Guimaraes, Joelinton, Almiron, Wilson, Gordon.