Preview: Arsenal vs Newcastle, team news, how to watch, line-ups and prediction

By on February 22, 2024

gabriel martinelli arsenal

Arsenal will be looking to bounce back from their defeat to Porto when we take on Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday night.

The Gunners have been one of the best teams in Europe since the turn of the year and went into the Champions League last-16 first leg on Wednesday night full of confidence off the back of five consecutive Premier League wins.

The latest was a resounding 5-0 victory away to Burnley last weekend, which came after a 6-0 thrashing of West Ham at the London Stadium. With two superb away wins under their belt, Arsenal were expected to come home with a positive result from their trip to Portugal.

However, the boys produced one of their worst performances of the season at the Estádio do Dragão. Arsenal controlled the game and limited Porto to only one decent chance, however, we rarely threatened going forward. In fact, Arsenal failed to have a single shot on target throughout the game – the first time this has happened since 2012. We showed very little intent going forward and it looked like we were playing for a draw.

That was the minimum requirement from the trip and it was within our grasp, only for the players to throw it all away in 30 seconds of madness. With just seconds remaining of stoppage time, Arsenal gave away possession three times in their own half in just 23 seconds, and Galeno curled home a stunner from 25 yards to win it for Porto with the last kick of the game.

It was a cruel blow for Arsenal, but a valuable lesson is how to navigate these tricky Champions League ties. We were far too cautious and when it’s clear you’re not going to win the game, it’s vital you don’t lose it. Had we come home with a dire 0-0 draw, it wouldn’t have been the worst result and we’d have been confident of winning the second leg at home. Now, we’ll have to break down a Porto side who’ll be defending their lead with their lives and it’s going to be a tense night at the Emirates next month.

Mikel Arteta needs to get the performance and result out of the players heads quickly as Arsenal have to focus on their Premier League title charge when we welcome Newcastle to the Emirates on Saturday night. Manchester City moved back up to second and one point clear of Arsenal with a narrow win over Brentford on Tuesday. Liverpool then extended their lead at the top to four points – five ahead of Arsenal – with a 4-1 comeback win over Luton at Anfield last night.

Therefore, Arsenal have to respond with a win when we take on the Magpies at 8pm on Saturday. City take on Bournemouth a few hours earlier, so they could be four points ahead by the time we kick off. Arteta should know there is no room for error, and Arsenal simply have to pick up three points this weekend.

We should be confident of doing so against an inconsistent Newcastle side. After finishing in the top four last season, the Geordies have struggled this campaign and sit eighth in the table. They’ve drawn their last two home games against Luton and Bournemouth, but have won their last two away games against Villa and Forest, so they shouldn’t be underestimated.

How to watch

The game will be broadcast live on TNT Sport at 8pm on Saturday February 24th. Subscribers will be able to watch all the action as it happens on their TV, or via the TNT Sport app on mobile or tablet.

Gooners can still buy Arsenal vs Newcastle tickets and attend the game in person. The official club allocation is sold out but supporters can still get tickets through reputable resellers such as seatsnet.com.

Team news

Arsenal’s injury woes eased slightly with the return of Fabio Vieira to the squad on Wednesday night. The attacker has been out with a groin injury since November but was an unused substitute against former club Porto so he’s in contention this weekend.

However, doubts still remain over several other players. Thomas Partey is back in training after another thigh injury. He didn’t make the trip to Porto but he could be back for the visit of Newcastle if he passes a late fitness test.

Takehiro Tomiyasu has missed the last four games since returning from the Asian Cup with a knock so he’ll need to be assessed ahead of the Newcastle game. Oleksandr Zinchenko has also been out recently with a calf problem and he remains a doubt this weekend.

Gabriel Jesus hasn’t featured in Arsenal’s last five games due to a knee injury and it remains to be seen whether he’ll be back for the visit of Newcastle. Jurrien Timber is still working his way back from his ACL injury.

As for Newcastle, they’ll be without Sandro Tonali, Cllum Wilson, Joelinton, Nick Pope, Elliot Anderson and Matt Target. Fabian Schar is also a doubt with a wrist injury while Joe Willock faces a late fitness test on a calf problem as he looks to return against his former club.

However, Alexander Isak could make his return from a groin injury if he passes a late fitness test.

Likely line-ups

We’ve started the same line-up in the last three away games so Arteta would ideally like to freshen things up as the players looked tired on Wednesday night. However, the boss doesn’t have too many options with several players not fully fit. If Zinchenko or Tomiyasu are passed fit, then I expect one of them to replace Jacub Kiwior at left-back while Jorginho could come into the midfield.

Gabriel Martinelli was very poor against Porto so he might get a breather. Leandro Trossard could move out to the left wing with Kai Havertz starting up front which would make room for Jorginho in midfield.

Likely Arsenal XI: Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu, Jorginho, Rice, Odegaard, Saka, Havertz, Trossard

Likely Newcastle XI: Dubravka, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Longstaff, Guimaraes, Miley, Almiron, Gordon, Barnes


It’s difficult to know how Arsenal will respond following the hugely disappointing result at Porto. The game will probably have taken it out of the players – and they already looked knackered.

However, hopefully the boys will be determined to get back to winning ways and pick up another vital three points in the title race. This Newcastle team are beatable and we need to avenge the disgraceful defeat at St James’ Park earlier in the season.

I’m backing Arsenal to win it, but it won’t be easy. Arsenal 2-1 Newcastle