Arsenal take on Newcastle at the Emirates on Sunday with the chance to go to within seven points of fourth-placed Chelsea.
However, Mikel Arteta’s team selection was met with a mixed reaction from supporters who are desperate to see a comfortable home victory at the Emirates.
The former Manchester City coach made the shock decision to hand starts to both Dani Ceballos and Eddie Nketiah, with Alexandre Lacazette and Gabriel Martinelli on the bench.
The Gunners had been enjoying their winter break with a Dubai training camp earlier this week, which seems to have given Arteta the desire to hand out some unexpected opportunities.
One fan wrote: “Arsenal fans should not be happy with this team selection. Don’t see you winning this. Same old, same old.”
Another added: “This is a madness. I like it tho we’re so controversial.”
A third said: “Lacazette dropped but so is Gabriel Martinelli?”
“Lacazette on the bench, a good decision that one,” a fourth added.
Arteta told Sky Sports head of the fixture: “There have been a lot of positives.
“I have tried to convince the players that if we work on certain things in training, they will happen in games and we will score goals from them.
“There have been some really good moments like that with things I have asked them to do.
“As well, some of the counter-pressing we have done has been very good.
Arsenal take on Newcastle at the Emirates in the Premier League on Sunday
“Some of the behaviours of the players weren’t there before, particularly the top players tracking back.
“The distances between us and how compact we are is much better, and so is our body language during games.”
Arsenal sit level on points with Steve Bruce’s side ahead of the match, with the former Sunderland boss understanding the size of the task.
He said: “[Arsenal] are one of the great clubs. But we’re resilient,…