Arsenal look to get back to winning ways having been dumped out of the EFL Cup midweek at the hands of West Ham. Last Word on Football predicts how the Gunners will lineup in their clash with Newcastle on Saturday afternoon.
Arsenal Predicted Lineup vs Newcastle United
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How Arsenal Have Lineup Up Recently
Mikel Arteta rotated on Wednesday night in the EFL Cup against West Ham but the gamble did not pay off with the Gunners performing way below their usual best. Aaron Ramsdale was given an opportunity between the sticks but the Englishman failed to impress at the London Stadium.
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The importance of William Saliba in the Arsenal back four was once again highlighted as his omission led to serious vulnerabilities at the back. Arteta strayed from having his usual right-footed and left-footed centre-back partnership with Jakub Kiwior partnering Gabriel Magalhaes.
In Midfield Declan Rice’s return to East London was not what he would have hoped having come on for the final half an hour in replace of Jorginho. The Italian played alongside the out-of-form duo of Fabio Vieira and Kai Havertz with club captain Martin Odergaard only fit enough for a ten-minute cameo after suffering a knock before the home tie against Sheffield United.
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Eddie Nketiah’s wonderful hat trick against Sheffield United last weekend was followed up with a wasteful performance midweek. But with star striker Gabriel Jesus injured for the coming weeks Arteta will have to keep his faith in the 24-year-old at least until the international break. Reiss Nelson and Leandro Trossard started on each wing against the Hammers but both failed to make any real impact and were both subbed into the second half.
Changes We May See
David Raya is certain to come back into the starting lineup for the difficult trip to St. James’ Park this Saturday having cemented himself as the North London side’s first-choice goalkeeper at least for the time being. Arteta will likely go back to the back four that served him so well last season with Saliba joining Ben White, Gabriel, and Oleksandr Zinchenko.
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Odergaard and Rice will almost certainly be relied on from the start on Saturday afternoon with both going to be essential to any potential title charge the Gunners may mount. The Norwegian has been so important to Arsenal’s success of late with Arteta labeling him a ‘game-winner‘. No one has been able to consistently stake their claim to the third midfield role so Arteta may persist with Havertz in an attempt to discover the player which he thought he was buying.
Arsenal will be hoping that Nketiah will continue his form in the Premier League and put the midweek performance behind him. If the number 14 is ever to become the main striker at Arsenal, it has to be now with rumours of incomings in his position in January. On the wing, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli will likely come into the starting lineup having both started in the thrashing of Sheffield United last weekend.
Arsenal’s Recent Form and Tactics
Exiting the EFL Cup would have been a real blow to the Gunners as it was a trophy they could have really targeted with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham, Aston Villa, and Brighton already out. But it should not distract from Arsenal being one of only two unbeaten Premier League at this stage.
They looked back to their attacking best against an albeit terrible Sheffield United. Arteta’s side, with the notable addition of Declan Rice, do look more experienced from their title-challenging season last year having already beaten Manchester City. But tests do not come much harder than Newcastle away on a Saturday evening.
Arsenal Injuries to Consider
As well as the long-term injury to Jurrien Timber sustained in pre-season, Arsenal will also be without Thomas Partey and Jesus for the trip to St James’ Park. Both are big misses but expect Odergaard to have recovered from any knock he has been nursing over the past week. The Magpies also find themselves in a minor injury crisis with the arrival of European football so any Arsenal defeat cannot be blamed on the key players they have missing.
Arsenal Predicted Lineup
Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Rice, Odergaard, Havertz, Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli.