Sunday could either pile on the pressure or set up Arsenal for another Champions League clinching match. While the players need to focus on their match against Newcastle on Monday, supporters around the world will have a keen interest in Tottenham’s home match against Burnley. It’s hard to expect a lot from Burnley or Norwich (Spurs’ road trip finale), but as we’ve seen so far the race for the top four has been full of heights and pitfalls for both sides.
Regardless of Sunday’s results, Arsenal will hope to recreate the fortune they found against Leeds United as the Gunners have a similar record against Newcastle recently. In the home leg back in November Arsenal won 2-0, which marked their 8th straight win over the Magpies. In fact, they are on an incredible of outscoring Newcastle 16-to-0 in the past six matches.
Make sure to check back later this weekend for our Q&A with Coming Home Newcastle where we discussed their season, plans for the summer, Eddie Howe, Joe Willock, and more.
- Alexandre Lacazette
- Gabriel Martinelli
- Bernd Leno
- Nuno Tavares
- Albert Sambi Lokonga
- Alex Kirk
- Zak Swanson
- Charlie Patino
- Left Out: Rob Holding (red card), Kieran Tierney (injury) & Thomas Partey (injury)
- Let’s cover the biggest gamble first - the center back pairing. Later on today we should find out the availability of Gabriel and Ben White. However, if there is any chance they can make it, Arteta has to try. Now of course if they are only likely to give 15-30 minutes then, of course, you place them on the bench, but if it’s possible Arsenal really needs them. With Rob Holding out due to his red card, they are the only remaining senior CBs.
- Now if one of them is out, I’d imagine Tomiyasu slots in at CB and Tavares comes back in to start at left back. If both White and Gabriel are ruled out, then Arteta probably will use Xhaka and Tomiyasu as the CB pair with Cedric and Nuno as the fullbacks. Yeah, with Arsenal’s Champions League hopes on the line Mikel Arteta might be forced to play a backline of Tavares-Xhaka-Tomiyasu-Cedric. Completely scary.
- In attack, I’ve brought Emile Smith Rowe in for Martinelli. Whenever the offense has faltered, Arteta has typically opted for rotating one of these two in for the other. Arsenal needs a strong start and a quick response after the North London Derby. Emile Smith Rowe could be in for a big match.
- Isn’t it wild that Arsenal are serious UEFA Champions League contenders with Cedric and Elneny starting, Tomiyasu playing on the wrong side, constant U23s filling out the bench, and the likes of Lokonga and Tavares the primary, and only, reserves for midfield and fullback?
How to watch
Monday (5/16) at 3:00 pm ET / 12:00 pm PT on the USA Network.
Arsenal - 2
Newcastle - 1