Arsenal travel to Tyneside this weekend to face Newcastle eager to extend their winning run against the Magpies to seven in a row. Although The Gunners were knocked out by Monaco in the Champions League in midweek, they have been in superb form in the league and will want to continue their push for a Champions League place for next season whilst the Magpies are still adjusting to life under John Carver and have been very inconsistent of late.
Newcastle have clearly struggling since the departure of Alan Pardew, losing five and winning only two of their last ten games. Their last match resulted in a disappointing 3-0 defeat against an out of form Everton side which has dropped them down to 11th in the league. Their last home game also ended in defeat with a 1-0 loss to Man Utd but the Magpies will take encouragement from the fact that they have beaten the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool at home already and will look to add another Champions League hopeful onto that list this weekend.
Arsenal have in superlative of late, winning eight of their last nine games with the only defeat coming in the North London derby away to Spurs. The excellent run in form has come at an excellent time with the likes of Man Utd and Liverpool keeping up in the race for the Champions League spots. The purple patch has propelled the Gunners to third in the league now but with the top of the table becoming tighter with every week, every result is crucial and any slip up will be capitalised on by the teams around them.
In the previous meeting between the two sides in the league this season, Arsenal ran out 4-1 winners courtesy of doubles from Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud.
Fabricio Coloccini will miss the game having been sent off in the defeat to Everton last weekend and will serve the first of his three match ban. Papiss Cisse is also suspended due to his spitting incident against Man Utd a few weeks ago. Paul Dummett and Cheick Tiote are long term absentees with knee injuries as well as Steven Taylor who will miss the rest of the season. Haidara is 50/50 for the weekend and Rolando Aarons could also return.
Tomas Rosicky could be available after missing the last few games due to illness but fellow midfielders Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta are out until next month with foot injuries. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also out injured with a hamstring issue and Mathieu Debuchy is still recovering from a dislocated shoulder.
- Arsenal are unbeaten in the last eight Barclays Premier League games against Newcastle and have won all of the last six meetings.
- Newcastle have failed to score in their last three Premier League home games against Arsenal.
- They have also won only four of the last 39 matches in all competitions against Arsenal.
- Olivier Giroud has scored six goals in five Premier League games against the Magpies.
League Head to Heads
2014/2015 Sat 13 Dec Arsenal 4 – 1 Newcastle
2013/2014 Mon 28 Apr Arsenal 3 – 0 Newcastle
2013/2014 Sun 29 Dec Newcastle 0 – 1 Arsenal
2012/2013 Sun 19 May Newcastle 0 – 1 Arsenal
2012/2013 Sat 29 Dec Arsenal 7 – 3 Newcastle
2011/2012 Mon 12 Mar Arsenal 2 – 1 Newcastle.
2011/2012 Sat 13 Aug Newcastle 0 – 0 Arsenal
Newcastle – Remy Cabella
Many people thought that Newcastle’s summer acquisition of French midfielder Remy Cabella would turn out to be a shrewd piece of business and expectations that he would be a key player for Newcastle this season. So far however, he hasn’t lived up to his potential for whatever reason this season and has only shown a few glimpses of his capabilities so far. With only one goal in the Premier League this season many would agree that that is an area where Cabella needs to improve in. The Frenchman does offer creativity and can cause defenders problems when on the ball with 33 chances in total. 58% of his 79 attempted dribbles have been successful and the 25-year-old has also been fouled 46 times by opponents, maybe indicating that his trickery on the ball is starting to pay off.
Arsenal – Aaron Ramsey
After Aaron Ramsey scored ten goals in the Premier League last season and started off this with two in two games, many thought that the Welshman would pick up where he left off. That hasn’t been the case however, due to a lack of form and various injuries which resulted in him scoring just once until last weekend. He did however notch in the 3-0 win against West Ham in their last Premier League game as well as the second goal against Monaco in their 2-0 win in the Champions League on Tuesday, although they eventually would lose on away goals. That being said, you could see signs of Ramsey improving and showing signs that he could be working his way up to the form of last season, which would be great timing with a crucial part of the season coming up. 85% of his 1072 passes have been accurate so far and with three assists so far, Ramsey will look to make more of an impact for his team with vital upcoming FA Cup and Premier League matches on the horizon.
I have a sneaky feeling that Newcastle can cause an upset here. They’ve already beaten Chelsea and Liverpool at home this season and with their Champions League efforts in midweek, Arsenal could be caught cold in Tyneside.
My Prediction – Newcastle 1-0 Arsenal
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