Newcastle have had an extremely difficult start to the season. They’ve already had to play Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham and lost to all three of them. Those three matches along with their draw against Cardiff City has left them with one point from their first four matches. Now they face Arsenal. The Gunners were very poor away from home last season and, while they may have won, were not convincing in their performance away to Cardiff City. Arsenal are a talented side, but there is an opportunity for Newcastle to get a point or maybe even three from this match.
Arsenal are in one of the most important stretches of their season. Their eight matches between Chelsea away and Liverpool at home all come against teams outside of the top six. They need to accumulate as many points as possible in this stretch to have a real shot at the top four. They’ll have to perform better than they did against Cardiff to beat a more talented Newcastle side.
Newcastle will be without Florian Lejeune as he continues to recover from an ACL injury. On top of that, Jonjo Shelvey, Matt Ritchie and Javier Manquillo are all doubts, according to Physioroom.com.
Arsenal will be without Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Sead Kolasinic, Laurent Koscielny and Carl Jenkinson, as they all recover from long-term injuries. Lucas Torreira and Alex Iwobi are also doubts as they deal with a knock to their calf and an illness respectively, according to Physioroom.com.
Newcastle United: Salomon Rondon
Newcastle have taken a very defensive approach to their matches so far this season. They have the third fewest shots per game in the league, in part due to their defensive approach against the top six sides. They may not get many shots against Arsenal, so they’re going to have to make the ones they do get count. A lot of that responsibility will fall to striker Rondon. The Arsenal centre-backs can be taken advantage of, Rondon just needs to finish the chances they give him.
Arsenal: Mesut Ozil
Arsenal have not had a convincing performance yet this season and that is at least in part due to their stars not putting in big performances. Both Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have had slow starts to the season. If Arsenal are going to do anything this season, those are the two that need to lead them there. Ozil will need to be his best to help break through the wall Newcastle will likely build in front of their goals. Arsenal will need him to be at his best to crack the code to Newcastle’s defence.
Newcastle are yet to score multiple goals in a match in the league this season. They will have that chance against Arsenal, who have conceded eight goals in four games. This will likely be a tight game that, if there is a winner, will be decided by a mistake or a slice of luck.
Newcastle 2 – 2 Arsenal