|Newcastle will need Callum Wilson to take his chances when the Magpies travel to the Emirates on Saturday to face Arsenal. (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
Arsenal vs NewcastleEmirates Stadium1:30pm
Arsenal experienced huge reality check last time out against Liverpool and it was, in a way a good welcome development for their much advertised “process”.
Liverpool’s 4-0 annihilation of Arsenal at Anfield came at the end of ten games unbeaten run with eight of them in the league and with seven clean sheet too, one can now say Arsenal’s surge on the premier league table has been premised on their solid defense rather than anything else.
Newcastle now have a new manager in charge but they can only see glimpses of his ideas while they have to wait till the back end of January to witness real progress when they’re able to bring in quality players to help their cause.
Eddie Howe’s first game in charge of the Magpies reeks of what we already know about him, very expressive without handbrakes, 3-3 at full time is double edged, you might be sad that you shipped three but you can be encouraged that you can score three times as well.
Strange as it may sound, Newcastle have actually scored more (15) than Arsenal (13) this season, the gulf between them on the log, where Arsenal sit 5th and the visitors at the bottom of the log is down to Arsenal’s defensive solidity since the second week of September.
On current form, looking away from the defeat in the hands of Liverpool, Arsenal are in a good place and they won’t worry much about what happened last weekend, but with a team that isn’t really afraid of going all out, the Gunners must be wary of banana peels.
Newcastle will not sit deep against Arsenal, Howe doesn’t sit deep and that means he will leave spaces in-behind for Arsenal’s Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka to exploit, but how well will the Arsenal defense deal with the pace and trickery of Saint Allan-Maximin?
Beyond the Ivorian, the Magpies will also depend on Callum Wilson upfront and Joelinton is called upon, Howe likes to play on the flanks with direct crosses into the box, something he did well with Ryan Fraser and Josh King in his Bournemouth days.
Howe only beat Arsenal once in his entire career as the Cherries’ boss, he’d love to improve on that here, but how well can he contain the fire powers of the wounded Gunners?
Arsenal could tweak things a bit and call on Martin Odegaard in place of the seemingly jaded Alexandre Lacazette, Kieran Tierney could come in to replace Tavares who had a torrid afternoon at Anfield last weekend as well.
Newcastle don’t really enjoy playing Arsenal, they have lost each of the last five to the Gunners without even scoring a single goal, Howe will be keen to end this unenviable run but he himself doesn’t have much good tales to tell against Mikel Arteta’s side.