Mikel Arteta‘s side will need to repeat the feats of only Liverpool and Manchester City in winning at St James’ Park, with Eddie Howe retaining an impressive home record during his 18-month tenure so far.
Like the Gunners, the Magpies have been in tremendous domestic form and look certain to be back in Europe after a very long exodus, so it’ll be no easy task to keep up with the rampant defending champions, who on Saturday picked up all three points against Leeds United; a dead cert.
Last time out, the north Londoners were able to beat rival Chelsea 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium but how will the Spaniard set up his side to conquer Newcastle on their own turf?
Here’s how Arsenal could lineup today…
How will Arsenal line up vs Newcastle?
Between the sticks, Aaron Ramsdale will resume his normal duties as Arteta’s no.1 and there is some good news ahead of kick-off – according to GOAL, Gabriel Magalhaes is set to feature in the northeast despite coming off injured against the Blues in midweek.
That means his eye-catching partnership with Jakub Kiwior is set to continue, with Ben White also remaining at right-back. However, there could be a change at left-back, where Kieran Tierney replaces Oleksandr Zinchenko, who has looked a little suspect in recent matches.
Indeed, he has played the full 90 minutes in just one of his last seven league appearances, and three of his last four outings have seen him record a WhoScored rating of 6.59 or lower, including a shocking 5.73 against basement boys Southampton.
In midfield, Thomas Partey could make a return to the side, with his athleticism and power better suited to combat Newcastle’s strengths, so he could come in for Jorginho, a harsh call but one that may be required. He joins Granit Xhaka and Martin Odegaard, as per normal.
There is a big decision for Arteta to make in the final third as Bukayo Saka has been a bit quiet in recent matches – failing to register a goal or assist in back-to-back outings, whilst his last two goal contributions only came against the Saints.
However, the Spaniard may opt to keep the faith in him, given the magnitude of this encounter, though there may be a returning figure to feature alongside the England star and Gabriel Jesus as Gabriel Martinelli is handed the start over Leandro Trossard on the left flank in the third and final change.
It’s true that the Gunners look a far better outfit with the £90k-per-week Belgian “game-changer” – as once lauded by BBC’s Phil McNulty – on the pitch but Martinelli’s form over the 2022/23 season is too hard to ignore, whilst the former Brighton & Hove Albion dynamo could make a sizeable impact from the bench if need be.
Predicted Arsenal XI (4-3-3): Ramsdale; Tierney, Gabriel, Kiwior, White; Xhaka, Partey, Odegaard; Martinelli, Saka, Jesus