Arsenal dropped further points on Monday night as they were held 0-0 by Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsène Wenger’s side start the weekend five points behind early pace setters Manchester City, having scored only two goals in their opening three matches.
Newcastle United play host to the weekend’s opening match after travelling to Manchester United at the same time last weekend. Steve McClaren’s side showed a bit of steel for the first time this season as they held onto a 0-0 draw.
Anyone who thinks Newcastle can go one better this weekend, they are 10/1 to beat Arsenal – enhanced odds for new customers only.
Their results at Old Trafford shows the hosts won’t be an easy match for the Gunners as some fans may have thought it would have been after two games.
Arsenal really do need three points this weekend especially with every football fan expecting Manchester City to continue their winning start as they host Watford this weekend.
For the Gunners to be victorious a few things need to take place. Firstly, they relied on Petr Čech more often than they would have liked on Monday. The defence needs to be tighter this weekend, even if Newcastle don’t have a player of Philippe Coutinho’s calibre.
Newcastle were wasteful with their counter attack chances versus Manchester United, but don’t bet against them having worked hard on it during the week. Arsenal have been vulnerable on the break over the past few seasons and the home side have a fair bit of pace going forward that could be a threat to Wenger’s side.
The Gunners will also need to find their shooting boots and some creativity in this match. They’ve been shut out in two of their first three matches and never really caused Simon Mignolet too much hassle last time out.
Alexis Sánchez versus Daryl Janmaat looks like a good matchup for some creativity and for the Chilean to get himself into good goalscoring opportunities too. Mesut Özil and Santi Cazorla need to take the game to Newcastle in the middle of the field too and some width down the right wing instead of Aaron Ramsey would help give their playmakers some more space.
Olivier Giroud has one goal in three matches and now shown too much of a threat. He has eight goals in his previous six matches against Newcastle so fans can be confident based on his past. However, Chancel Mbemba showed his good marking and reading of the game versus Manchester United last Saturday – if the DR Congo continues that and has a man-to-man job on Olivier Giroud than you can forget about the French striker scoring.
Arsenal have a lot of goal threats from midfield – that includes Aaron Ramsey too if he does start on the right wing. Theo Walcott is an option out there too and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored the only goal in the FA Community Shield.
This is a big test for Wenger’s side given their slow start and three points is essential to get their 2015-16 Premier League title chances back on track.