Arsenal vs. Newcastle
St. James' Park
12:45 pm BT/7:45 am ET, Early and still dark CT, Why God Why PT
Three matches into the season, and Arsenal and Chelsea are tied on points, and that's the good news. They also happen to be 9th and 10th, looking up the table at some names with a reasonable chance to be there (City, United, Liverpool) and some surprises (all hail your '15-'16 Opening Week Champs Leicester City!) as well.
Arsenal looks for points, getting its goal-scoring groove back, and generally trying to look sharper against a Newcastle side that nearly got themselves relegated yesterday, parted ways with best manager in the world John Carver, and have since remade themselves some with new manager Steve McLaren and players like (consults spelling guide) Giorgino Wijnaldum, Aleksander Mitrovic, and Florian Thauvin. Newcastle's gotten considerably better as a result (but really, how could they not).
Lineups good news and bad news: Laurent Koscielny is back! He'll be partnered with Gabriel in the center of the back four. But Mesut Özil has a minor knee twinge, and won't play. Aaron Ramsey will be playing the #10 today, with Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin handling the double pivot. Also, Theo Walcott is allegedly a center forward, as Olivier Giroud is on the bench. Everything else looks familiar.
Here are today's confirmed lineups for #NUFCvAFC... pic.twitter.com/0bxsJq5jCz— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) August 29, 2015