Our live stream ahead of Monday nights Premier League match, Arsenal vs Newcastle is now up, kicking off at 20.00 GMT
You can keep an eye on the commentary as it happens below, but first, we take a preview into the fixture, lineups, predictions and much more…
Arsenal will be looking to return to winning ways in the Premier League after coming up short in a goalless draw against Crystal Palace last time out.
The result has left the Gunners in 11th position in the table, some eight points off the top four, and it is very difficult to imagine the capital giants challenging high up the division in the final stages of the season.
There have been signs of progress in recent weeks, though, with the club winning four of their last five matches in all competitions, including a 2-0 victory over Newcastle in the FA Cup last weekend.
Arsenal have actually won 14 of their last 15 Premier League games against the Magpies, who have lost their last eight away league games to the Gunners, which points to a home victory on Monday night.
Arteta’s side have dropped league points to Leicester City, Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Burnley, Southampton and Palace at the Emirates Stadium this term, though, and the clash with Steve Bruce’s team is a potential banana skin for FA Cup holders.
Newcastle, meanwhile, will enter the contest off the back of a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United, with the Blades securing their first league win of the season courtesy of a penalty from Billy Sharp.
The Magpies had Ryan Fraser sent off at Bramall Lane, but the manner of the performance was disappointing, and there is certainly pressure from the club’s supporters on head coach Bruce.
Newcastle have won five, drawn four and lost eight of their 17 league matches this season to sit down in 15th position in the table, seven points clear of the relegation zone.
The four-time English champions picked up a welcome point at home to the champions Liverpool at the end of December but have not actually triumphed in the top flight since December 12, and they are now heading into a tough double-header away to Arsenal and away to Aston Villa.
The two clubs last met earlier this month in the FA Cup third round, as extra-time goals from Emile Smith Rowe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ensured holders Arsenal progressed to the fourth round…
On Richard Garlick’s appointment as director of football operations...
“We lost Huss [Fahmy] at the start of the season. He had a really important role because it is a very important link between myself, Edu the technical director, the board, Vinai.”
“We needed a person with a lot of experience, who knows the job really well, has all the connections in English and international football. As well, someone that can bring some ideas and some qualities that we believe are required to [run] the business the way we want.”
“I am really excited. I met him. He is certainly the candidate we wanted and now we have to respect the process. He is at the Premier League at the moment and we will see when we can get him.”
On whether Garlick’s appointment takes pressure off him…
“It’s not about the pressure, it’s contribution, it’s to bring people into our team that are better than us in certain things. That’s going to make us better.”
“We had to replace Huss, and Huss had a really important role not only with the first team but with the academy, and a lot of administration work he’s been doing with other entities across Europe.”
“We needed to replace him, there was no question about that. We were looking for months and we all decided that the best person to do that was Richard.”
On Pablo Mari…
“He had a calf injury in training [on Wednesday]. I think he will miss a few matches.”
“He’s another one we will lose but we’ve got Gabi [Magalhaes] back after COVID, which is good news, we’ve got Thomas back as well. Let’s focus on the positives.”
On whether Thomas Partey is ready to start…
“Well he’s made the right step. Obviously he hasn’t played much football in the last four months. He had an injury in exactly the same place he had before when he got injured against Spurs.”
“Now we have the reassurance that he can compete. He did it for 25, 30 minutes. He did it well, he didn’t feel anything so now we’re going to be looking for the next step.”
On four cleans sheets in a row…
“It’s very positive because that’s the foundation to win any game, and gives you a great opportunity to go on and win every single game. [Against Crystal Palace] we lacked that quality in the final third, that are needed against teams like Palace.”
“Roy is a manager who gets teams really organised, they have been so successful against big teams over the years because they are a real threat as well in transition and on set pieces. We lacked that against them.”
On whether he feels for Steve Bruce after a bad run of form…
“Absolutely. When you are sitting in one of these chairs, you suffer and you have a lot of empathy for your colleagues.”
“We all know what it takes, how much we suffer and as well Brucey is a top guy, a really good manager as well but a top guy too.”
On what it takes to get through a difficult period…
“First, you need support from the club, that is for sure, then you need to feel as well what your fans and supporters can see what you are trying to build.”
“Then the most important part for me is the feeling you have with the players. When you feel that the players are on board and they are really trying for you, that they are behind you, that gives you a big energy.”
“Probably when you feel that the players are lost and not behind you, that is difficult.”
On needing to stick to your beliefs…
Yes, in my opinion more than ever. Things can be a bit difficult to see but you have to be able to see and analyse everything that happens, but as well adapt.”
“You cannot be so stuck, sometimes you have to adapt and change some things to try to move and shake things around a little bit to try to find a way.”
“But the margins of this game, a very low-scoring game, win or not win, they are [tight] margins for that.”
On his sides fitness…
“Jamal Lewis could come back into the frame. The captain, Jamaal Lascelles, could come back in – we’ll see how he is after a week’s training after the COVID.”
“We’ve got a problem with (Federico) Fernández. This COVID thing has been hanging around us for the best part of a month.”
“It’s badly affected arguably our best attacking player (Saint-Maximin), which has not helped us.”
“He’s maybe training today or tomorrow, so that’s good news, but he’s been out for the best part of seven weeks with it.”
“We’re still hoping that we’ve got a few back, but the one thing with this COVID thing is this fatigue – it’s the biggest thing we’re seeing with the after-effects of having COVID.”
“He’s been out seven weeks, so we’ll have to monitor him, see how he is. As I’ve said, the biggest thing we’re finding, even in elite athletes, is this fatigue – this lethargy, struggle to train properly, struggle to really physically do anything, so it has been a problem.”
On getting a response from his players after defeat to Sheffield United…
“You always want a response from a team. I expect some sort of response, that’s for sure,”
“We have to accept the criticism, but we can’t accept that performance. We have to erase it to a certain level.”
“Yes, in the Premier League, you’re going to get beat, but there’s a certain way of doing it and certainly the other night, the way we went about it wasn’t good enough.”
On the mood in the dressing room…
“The mood I hope mirrors mine – they’re upset, and disappointed at what we produced the other night in the first half,”
“There’s no denying it, there’s no getting away from it, we were absolutely hopeless. I have to take the responsibility for it – I picked the team, set the team up, and accept the responsibility of what’s coming our way.”
“It’s disappointing because we throw that in too often. We threw it in at Brentford (in the Carabao Cup), where we didn’t do enough to win the match. I’ll look at it and analyse it again, which I’ve done over and over since Tuesday, and get us to change.”
Arsenal Premier League form: DLWWWD
Arsenal form (all competitions): LWWWWD
Newcastle United Premier League form: LDLDLL
Newcastle United form (all competitions): LLDLLL
Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang; Lacazette
Newcastle United possible starting lineup:
Darlow; Yedlin, Lascelles, Schar, Clark, Dummett; Almiron, Hendrick, S Longstaff, Joelinton; Wilson
Under 2.5 Goals – Evens with FanTeam
Yet another under goals tip and it’s not difficult to see why. Arsenal have conceded just one goal in their last four PL games, two of which ended with under 2.5 goals.
Meanwhile, Newcastle have scored just two goals in their last five with four of those games ending with under 2.5 goals.
Perhaps the most convincing argument is the fact that these sides recently met in the FA Cup third round where the result was 0-0 after 90 minutes. Even after extra time, Arsenal’s 2-0 win fall under the threshold for a winning bet here.
Time to take a look at our Arsenal vs Newcastle live match stream as it happens…