Newcastle United will be in London this weekend to take on an Arsenal side that is desperate for a victory.
Newcastle United and Arsenal last met on opening weekend at St. James’ Park, and both clubs have been surrounded by interesting narratives since then. The Magpies and the Gunners are both undefeated in their last four games, but their records consist of too many draws, especially Arsenal (13).
Newcastle United have been exceeding expectations this season and they have surprised everyone with the positive results they earned against some top teams at home and on the road. Arsenal, on the other hand, continue to provide fans and pundits with more questions than answers. The Gunners are playing better under Mikel Arteta than they were with Unai Emery on the sideline, but they continue to drop precious points against mediocre and inferior opponents.
Sunday’s game will be interesting, mainly because no one really knows what team will show up to perform for either side. Newcastle United have claimed two victories in London this season and a win against Arsenal would send them into the top ten. That being said, here are five things both sets of fans, as well as neutral fans of English football, can expect at the Emirates Stadium this weekend.
1. Busy evening for Lascelles and company
Newcastle United are only averaging 34% possession in the top flight this season, and Arsenal have completed the seventh-most passes in the Premier League this term, so it is safe to say that Jamaal Lascelles and the back-line will be busy. The Magpies are no strangers to chasing the ball and patiently waiting for their moment to hit opponents with a counter-attack, and Steve Bruce is most likely setting the team up that way once again.
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang could have a big game if he receives proper service near the penalty area. The Gabonese striker scored the winner the last time these teams met, but Arsenal have struggled against teams that keep several bodies behind the ball and invite the attack for most of the game.