- Arsenal have beaten Newcastle seven times in row, scoring 20 times
- The Magpies haven’t won at home vs. Arsenal in nearly 10 years
- Arsenal unbeaten in last seven away PL games
Newcastle United welcome Arsenal to St James’ Park on Saturday (Watch live, 7:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) with the home side heavy underdogs against the Gunners
Steve McClaren’s men have enjoyed a decent start to the campaign with draws against Southampton and Manchester United, but sandwiched in-between that was a disappointing defeat away at Swansea. Following their 0-0 draw at Old Trafford last weekend, the Magpies look tough to break down and with Georginio Wijnaldum, Moussa Sissoko and Aleksandar Mitrovic, they have dangerous talents going forward.
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As for Arsenal, the Gunners have four points from their opening three games and were lucky to grab a point from their encounter with Liverpool last Monday. Petr Cech made two stunning saves in the first half and Liverpool rattled the crossbar, but Aaron Ramsey did have a perfectly good goal chalked off for offside.
In team news, Arsenal will be missing Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny is a big doubt once again as both center backs could miss out for the second game running. Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck are both out with injury. Newcastle’s Sissoko should return from a groin problem, while Daryl Janmaat is available after suspension.
What they’re saying
Steve McClaren on challenge of facing Arsenal: “Arsenal are a top four team full of very good individual players who can hurt you from all over the pitch – I would pay to watch them because they play football the right way. They are genuine title contenders again this season and always will be, because they have the squad and ability within that. Concentration, defensive solidity and keeping the ball will be key, just as they were when we recorded an excellent goalless draw at Old Trafford seven days ago.”
Wenger on potential new signings before Deadline Day: “I am always confident that a last minute situation or solution is available because the transfer market is especially moving in the last four to five days. But at the moment I cannot promise you that. We work very hard, I have a team around me who works day and night to find solutions. At the moment we are not close to signing anybody.”
It is very easy to see Arsenal going to St James’ and getting a big win to kick-start their season after an “average start” in the words of Wenger, but with the Magpies shutting down Manchester United away from home last week and the Gunners having issues with both center backs, I can see Aleksandar Mitrovic causing plenty of problems. Draw. 1-1.