Newcastle United kick off the weekend’s Premier League action for a second consecutive week and would probably take the same result as last weekend if they had the chance. Steve McClaren’s side took a well-earned 0-0 draw away from Old Trafford with them.
Although the Magpies are winless after three games under their latest manager it has not been an easy set of fixtures for the former Derby County boss, whom is also integrating a number of new signings into his side.
Arsenal could really do with three points this weekend having only put four on the board so far, not to fall further behind their Premier League title rivals.
Arsène Wenger was without both first choice centre-backs for the 0-0 draw at home to Liverpool on Monday night, in which his side had goalkeeper Petr Čech to thank for after his superb first-half performance.
Newcastle welcome back Daryl Janmaat from suspension. The Dutch right-back’s return means Chancel Mbemba can return to the middle after an excellent performance versus Manchester United in Janmaat’s place after being torn apart in the opening 20 minutes.
Rémy Cabella has left St James’ Park this summer and Yoann Gourcuff appears to be heading for the exit too. Moussa Sissoko is a doubt for this weekend’s match, limiting McClaren with his choice of experienced attacking midfielders.
Striker Emmanuel Rivière is out with a knee injury but that doesn’t alter anything up front.
Laurent Koscielny remains a doubt with a back injury whilst there’s yet to be any confirmation as to whether Per Mertesacker has recovered from his illness earlier in the week.
On top of that, Wenger has the same three injuries he side have had all season – Jack Wilshere, Tomáš Rosický and Danny Welbeck won’t be available again this weekend.
Arsenal are 5/1 to beat Newcastle – enhanced odds for new customers only.
Newcastle’s change in defence will see Daryl Janmaat in at right-back with Chancel Mbemba partnering Fabricio Coloccini in the centre. Gabriel Obertan could start another game this season if Moussa Sissoko isn’t passed fit. Georginio Wijnaldum looked decent versus Manchester United so Arsenal should be weary of the number 10, and Florian Thauvin could make his first start for Newcastle. Aleksandar Mitrović should continue up top.
Calum Chambers and Gabriel Paulista could start back-to-back games for Arsenal, although one would suspect Per Mertesacker will have recovered in time for this game. The midfield didn’t create too many clear-cut opportunities on Monday night. Perhaps the pace of either Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Theo Walcott could come in for Aaron Ramsey down the right wing, otherwise we don’t expect too many changes from the Gunners boss.
Alexis Sánchez vs Daryl Janmaat
Arsenal’s Chilean star has yet to hit top form in the new season but does have a good matchup this weekend. Daryl Janmaat was foolishly sent off in the first half of his last match and Alexis Sánchez should fancy his chances running at him. Liking to cut inside, don’t be surprised if Sánchez finds a couple of good opportunities in this match. Newcastle haven’t been the tightest defence this season.
Aleksandar Mitrović vs Arsenal defence
Arsenal’s defence were all over the place in the first half versus Liverpool on Monday night, before they did tighten up at the back in the second half. The hardworking Aleksandar Mitrović could cause them a few problems if he gets the supply up front. He’s good in the air and capable of being a nuisance to the Arsenal centre-backs.
Olivier Giroud vs Newcastle defence
The French striker hasn’t made the best of starts to the season but has a good record versus Newcastle at least. Few teams have allowed opponents as many shots on target as the Magpies have to start the season either. Expect better supply this weekend from all the playmakers around him – Olivier Giroud should see a couple of good opportunities in this match.
2 – No team has scored fewer goals than Arsenal after the opening three games this season.
7 – Arsenal have won the last seven games in a row versus Newcastle.
8 – Olivier Giroud has scored eight goals in six Premier League appearances versus Newcastle.