Newcastle United will be in London this weekend to face Arsenal and Steve Bruce must deploy his strongest lineup to cause an upset at the Emirates Stadium.
Newcastle United will be back in Premier League action this weekend when they travel to North London to take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners claimed three points against the Magpies when the two teams met on opening weekend, but fast-forward to today and both clubs are in mid-table positions, 10th and 12th, and are level on points, 31.
Newcastle United have surprised fans and pundits with some impressive results against Tottenham, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea this season, and Steve Bruce is hoping to add Arsenal to that list. A win would see the Magpies break into the top ten, but in order to cause an upset in London, Bruce must deploy the following lineup.
Martin Dubravka is one of the best keepers in the Premier League and he tends to step up to the challenge when Newcastle United face superior opposition. In front of him on the back-line, Bruce should stick with the same central defenders he started last time out when the Magpies drew 0-0 with Norwich City. Jamaal Lascelles and Federico Fernandez provide strength and are good in the air, whereas Ciaran Clark is confrontational and puts his body on the line to block shots before they reach Dubravka.
In the wing-back roles, Bruce should, and most likely will, turn to his January loanees Danny Rose and Valentino Lazaro. Matt Ritchie has been playing out of position at left wing-back, but Rose can now step into that role and provide more quality on both ends of the pitch. DeAndre Yedlin has done well to utilize his pace on the wing, but his crossing has been terrible. Hopefully Lazaro can deliver some quality balls to give Joelinton a chance to make something happen in the box.
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In the middle of the park, Bruce’s best options are Isaac Hayden and Nabil Bentaleb. Hayden needs no motivation going up against his former club, and he has been a true workhorse in midfield all season. Bentaleb is still developing chemistry with his teammates, but his composure on the ball and good vision make him a strong candidate to start alongside Hayden.
The front-line is pretty predictable as a result of injuries to Andy Carroll, Dwight Gayle and Yoshinori Muto. Joelinton is the only available striker, so fans just need to hope he can get some good looks at goal and increase his scoring tally. Starting Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin is a no-brainer. Both wingers are capable of leading attacks, creating chances for themselves and for others around them. Newcastle United could cause some major problems for Arsenal if these two get sufficient touches on the ball higher up the pitch.
- GK: Dubravka
- DEF: Fernandez, Clark, Lascelles
- MID: Rose, Bentaleb, Hayden, Lazaro
- ATT: Saint-Maximin, Joelinton, Almiron