Preview: Arsenal v Newcastle: Duo ruled out, Sanchez dropped + prediction

By on December 15, 2017

alexandre lacazette

Arsenal simply have to collect three points and put the pressure on the top four when we entertain Newcastle on Saturday afternoon.

It’s been another tough couple of weeks as the frustrating defeat to Man Utd has been followed-up by disappointing draws away to Southampton and most recently West Ham.

Two points from our last three games has seen us drop to seventh in the Premier League table but the good news is we’re just one point off fourth-placed Tottenham.

Therefore, we could climb in to the top four with a win tomorrow ahead of Tottenham’s trip to Man City later in the day as long as Burnley don’t win at Brighton [yes, we’re behind Burnley!].

Newcastle should be a good game for us as I doubt they’ll come to defend for ninety minutes but Rafa Benitez’s men will be desperate for a result as they sit 16th in the division and just one point off the bottom three.

Team News

Unfortunately Aaron Ramsey has been ruled out for three weeks with a hamstring injury and I think he’s going to be a real miss over the busy festive period.

Shkodran Mustafi is back in full training after recovering from a thigh injury and Arsene Wenger said he’ll make a late decision over the German international’s availability.

Theo Walcott missed the West Ham game with a knock and it’s set to keep him out of action again tomorrow, however, Alexandre Lacazette should get a recall after not being risked in midweek due to a minor groin problem.

As for Newcastle, they’ll be without Jonjo Shelvey due to suspension while Aleksandar Mitrovic is out with a back problem.

Preferred line-up

I’d stick with a back four tomorrow and would like to see Mustafi alongside Laurent Koscielny as long as the German is passed fit. If not, then I’d give Rob Holding a chance as Nacho Monreal is NOT a centre-back in a back four.

danny welbeck arsenal

Sead Kolasinac should come in after being left out in midweek while I’d like to see Jack Wilshere keep his place as long as the club doctors feel he can start again after completing 90 minutes in midweek.

I didn’t think the team was balanced enough at West Ham so I’d like to see Mohamed Elneny come in to the midfield with Mesut Ozil in the No.10 role behind TWO strikers.

Obviously Lacazette should be recalled but I’d love to see Danny Welbeck alongside the Frenchman in a fluid front line. Those two making runs and stretching the defence with Ozil supplying the passes would cause Newcastle all sorts of problems.

As you can see below, I think it’s time Alexis Sanchez is dropped as he’s been putting in minimal effort recently and no longer deserves a starting spot.

This would be my line-up:

Likely Newcastle XI: Darlow, Yedline, Lascelles, Lejeune, Manquillo, Perez, Merino, Ritchie, Diame, Atsu, Gayle

Match prediction

Our away form has been woeful but we’ve been excellent at the Emirates and our record against Newcastle is extremely positive as we’ve won our last nine meetings. We’ve been creating plenty of chances in recent games but our finishing has been poor so let’s rectify that tomorrow. I’m going for a resounding 3-0 win. Arsenal 3-0 Newcastle