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Arsenal vs. Newcastle: Premier League - Predicted Lineup & Bench

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The Gunners will be hoping to break their draw streak as they return from the winter break.

Arsenal Training Session Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

That winter break seemed to drag on forever. But perhaps for an Arsenal side sitting in 10th and coming off four straight league draws, a break might be just what was needed. A chance for Mikel Arteta to regroup his team, return a few injured players and begin to work in the January signings. Now it’s time to get back to work as the Gunners host Newcastle on Sunday at the Emirates.

Arsenal need three points this weekend, and some favorable results elsewhere, to stay within a possibility of climbing back into the European places. With just thirteen matches in the league to go, and sitting just seven points clear of the relegation spots, this home match cannot be taken lightly. So how might Arteta line up on Sunday?

Notes on the XI

  • Last time out Arteta went with Lacazette up top, Aubameyang on the left, Martinelli on the right and Ozil in the middle. That resulted in two shots on target and zero goals. So a shift has to happen as he searches for his best combination. (Re)enter the big summer signing - Pepe. I’d put Pepe in place of Lacazette, shifting PEA up top and Martinelli back over to his preferred left side.
  • Bukayo Saka looks okay from his knock against Burnley, but I’d expect him on the bench as cover for the left-back spot and as a potential attacking option late in the game, based on the situation. (Also please get his new deal signed immediately.) Reiss Nelson is back for selection as well, but Lacazette is likely the bench option in attack, with Willock serving as a makeshift ten backup or CM as needed.
  • Arsenal gave up no goals and just two shots on target against Burnley, but look for Sokratis to replace Mustafi in central defense and Saed Kolasinac to return from injury as the starting left back. Those two along with David Luiz, Hector Bellerin, and Bernd Leno in theory should be able to stand against a Newcastle side that had scored just 24 goals in 25 league matches.
  • In the center of the pitch, Xhaka is a sure bet to stay in the starting XI, but perhaps Torreira is given the chance after Guendouzi was favored in the nil-nil last time out.
  • That eleven, along with the selections for the bench below means Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson, Dani Ceballos and Shkodran Mustafi are left out from the fit and available list. Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares are expected to be back by the end of the month.

Bench

  1. Emiliano Martinez
  2. Rob Holding
  3. Ainsley Maitland-Niles
  4. Mattéo Guendouzi
  5. Joe Willock
  6. Bukayo Saka
  7. Alexandre Lacazette

How to watch

Sunday (2/16) at 11:30 am ET / 8:30 am PT on the NBC Sports Network.