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Will motivation be enough for Rafa Benitez to steal points away from his compatriot?
Newcastle – Arsenal Preview
Newcastle United are winless with one draw and three losses. You can hardly blame Rafa Benitez’s team, as the schedule involved visits to Chelsea and Tottenham and a home fixture against the defending champions. Arsenal is the fourth Top 6 team The Magpies have to face in a short period of time. In the midst of all those losses is a Carabao Cup elimination suffered at the expense of Nottingham Forest. Despite all of this, Benitez chooses to remain optimistic.
“Last season, we were the best team in the bottom half and we hope to do the same again if we can.
“You can be a little bit better on the ball, so I am not happy with how we gave the ball away, but at the same time, we have to understand what we have and how we can maximise what we have.”
That optimism might die down a bit after Unai Emery’s men leave town. The Gunners have had success at St. James’ Park over the years and are coming off a 3-2 victory at Cardiff in which Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang showed they can co-exist. If Arsenal’s two most expensive signings in history can find common ground, the rest of the Premier League should be scared.
Arsenal also had to face the previous two Premier League champions, losing both fixtures. They won the other two and have scored at least two goals in each of the last three which is a positive sign since attacking is what Unai Emery is all about.
Newcastle – Arsenal H2H
Last season’s victory was Newcastle’s first against Arsenal since 2010. The Gunners won 10 out the 13 games over that span. Overall, The Magpies have won just three home fixtures against Saturday’s opponent in the new millennium.
Newcastle – Arsenal Bet365 Odds
Newcastle is dealing with injuries to key players Matt Ritchie and Jonjo Shelvey. Without them in the squad, their midfield is weak and should succumb to Arsenal’s attacking prowess.
Newcastle – Arsenal Start Time
The game between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St. James’ Park kicks off at 16:00 CET on Saturday, 15th September