Arsenal will be in search of a much needed win if they want to keep their top-half status alive.
Mikel Arteta’s side have have not picked up a win since New Year’s Day against Manchester United and have since gone on four consecutive league draws.
Their discipline will need addressing too after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw red at Crystal Palace and David Luiz had an early bath at old club Chelsea during that run.
Another yellow card for David Luiz and Lucas Torreira will see them miss a crucial top-half clash against Carlo Ancelotti’s ever improving Everton side.
The Gunners find themselves 10th with eight points off a European spot and seven points above the relegation zone.
They welcome a Newcastle side who have surprised many with their form this season and are level on points with their hosts.
Arsenal writer Art de Roche spoke with thepools.com:
Arsenal to win 2-1 – 15/2 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to score first – 9/4
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Win, lose or draw?
Arsenal should go into this clash with optimism but be ready for the challenge Newcastle will throw at them. Having had two weeks to implement his plans in more detail, Mikel Arteta’s side should be in a better position to turn their recent draws into wins. I’m going for a 2-1 win ( 15/2).
Who’s a good bet for 1st scorer?
Aubameyang ( 9/4) should be back firing for the Gunners. Even though he didn’t score on his return to the side against Burnley, he had the chances and that will be the same against Newcastle. It’ll be interesting to see where the forward is played, however – on the left as usual or if he takes Alexandre Lacazette’s place as the central striker.
Who’s on the naughty step? (first card)
Facing Joelinton and Alllan Saint-Maximan will be a tough task for the Gunners. As a result they may be slightly more vulnerable down their left side. David Luiz has improved under Mikel Arteta but under pressure these two players he may need to toe the line to stay in the game which may see him get caught out by the referee.
Aubameyang receiving instructions from manager Mikel Arteta
(Image: IAN KINGTON/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images)
Who’s on pens?
Nicolas Pepe ( 5/1 to score first) will be on penalties. Aubameyang may step up but with the 24-year-old in need of goals, it won’t be a surprise to see Pepe ( 13/8 anytime) hand spot kicks over to him. He did exactly this against Aston Villa earlier in the season.
Will your team keep a clean sheet?
Although Bernd Leno has impressed by racking up the second-most saves in the…