Newcastle United are known for playing defensive football, but Steve Bruce should break that trend against a confused Arsenal side when they travel to London on Sunday.
Newcastle United will be back in action this weekend when they face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in London. Two of the Magpies’ eight victories this season were in London, against Tottenham (1-0) and West Ham (3-2), and the team should be focused on winning in the capital once again.
The last time Newcastle United and Arsenal met was on opening day. The game had 0-0 draw written all over it until Steve Bruce’s men made a basic, but costly mistake in midfield that gifted Arsenal with a minimal victory at St. James’ Park. A lot has changed since that game, though, and it is surprising to see the Magpies and Gunners level on points in mid-table positions at this stage in the season.
The departure of Unai Emery and the arrival of Mikel Arteta generated some optimism among Arsenal supporters, but Arteta’s record as Arsenal’s manager has been far from successful. Since being named manager on December 21st, Arteta has only enjoyed one victory in the Premier League, and his team has drawn four consecutive games.
Arsenal do look more creative on the ball and their style of play is more open since Arteta took over on the sideline, however, they continue to lack confidence, and this is reflected in some of their recent results. That being said, Newcastle United should respect Arsenal’s ability to spread the ball around and advance up the field with several bodies, but the Magpies should press often, play a higher line in the back, and focus on feeding Allan Saint-Maximin with the ball as much as possible.
This is one of those games where Saint-Maximin can live up to his reputation as one of Europe’s best dribblers and one of the Premier League’s most dynamic wingers. Arsenal’s back-line is inconsistent, and speedsters with top dribbling skills, such as Saint-Maximin can cause major problems for the Gunners. Obviously, one player cannot win the game for the Toon, but the Frenchman should be the go-to man for orchestrating Newcastle United’s attack on Sunday.