The current league leaders Arsenal will be looking for a routine home win over relegation battling Newcastle to keep gunning for the title.
Arsenal recovered well after a 4-0 boxing day defeat against Southampton and a Mesut Ozil masterclass ensured a convincing 2-0 win over newly promoted Bournemouth. A hard fought draw between Leicester City and Manchester City meant that Arsenal finished the year staying at the top of the table.
In five of last six occasions, the team finishing top at the midway of the season went on to win the title. The Gunners will certainly be happy to know that. They need to see off easy home clashes like this to keep marching for the grand prize. If they suffer a setback, they are in danger of slipping two places to the third sport.
Newcastle were starting to find their feet on the ground but back-to-back losses against Everton and West Brom have hit them badly. A draw certainly will not help them to get out of the red zone. If they take all three points from this fixture, only then they have a chance, not surety, to climb up the table. They will have to count on a out-of-sorts Manchester United to beat the Swans at home.
Arsenal vs Newcastle United Team News:
Arsene Wenger rested Koscielny and Monreal against Bournemouth. Gabriel came in for Koscielny and scored the opener against Bournemouth. Despite that, Arsenal’s French centre-back is likely to return to the first team and same goes for Nacho Monreal. Joel Campbell and Chamberlain will fight for a place in the right flank. Flamini and Alexis, both, are not expected to return from injury. So, Calum Chambers will continue in his make-shift role.
Newcastle have probably the longest list of injuries in the division. Anita limped off the field in the defeat against the Baggies and Cheick Tiote is the favourite to return in place of the Dutch midfielder.
Arsenal vs Newcastle United Probable Lineup:
Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal; Chambers, Ramsey; Campbell, Ozil, Walcott; Giroud.
Newcastle United: Darlow; Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Dummett; Sissoko, Tiote, Colback, Wijnaldum; Perez, Mitrovic.
Arsenal vs Newcastle United Key Stats:
- Arsenal have done the league double over Newcastle for last three seasons. They will look it make it happen for fourth consecutive time.
- Arsenal have not lost at the Emirates since the opening day defeat against the Hammers.
- Arsenal have the most points (81) and won most matches (25) in Premier League in 2015.
- The Gunners will be looking for ninth straight win against Newcastle this Saturday.
- Olivier Giroud has attempted a league-high 3.37 danger zone shots per 90 minutes.
Arsenal vs Newcastle United Betting Odds: (Subject to Change)
Source: William Hill
Arsenal win: 3/10
Newcastle win: 10/1