Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Journo hints at Arsenal team v Newcastle

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Arsenal are about to embark on a potentially season-defining run of fixtures as they begin the New Year with a seven-point lead atop the Premier League standings.

It begins with third-placed Newcastle United, who despite being nine points behind the Gunners, are the division’s best defensive outfit, having leaked only 11 goals from their 17 matches thus far.

Then there is the north London derby and Manchester United to come before the defending champions, Manchester City, early next month.

Both teams are in the midst of an unbeaten run, with Arsenal’s 4-2 win over Brighton and Hove Albion on December 31st taking it to ten games without defeat and five wins from five.

Eddie Howe’s men, though, have not tasted defeat in 12 outings, nor have they conceded in five across all competitions.

Will Arsenal beat Newcastle with an unchanged side?

With so many games coming thick and fast, it will be intriguing to see how manager Mikel Arteta navigates through the treacherous waters without having much strength in depth, to his aid, however, is the fact that they face lower-league opposition in the FA Cup on Monday, so he could remain strong tonight.

Indeed, that’s what reliable football.london journalist Kaya Kaynak has alluded to in his pre-game piece, where he has predicted the same starting lineup from three days ago.

Despite doubts over the fitness of Oleksandr Zinchenko, the poor form from William Saliba and Bukayo Saka being on the verge of accumulating enough yellow cards for a suspension, the chief Arsenal writer believes Arteta will continue with the exact XI players from Saturday.

‘Arsenal predicted XI vs Newcastle – Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard; Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli,’ he wrote.

What is key from this news is that the north London giants got through the weekend unscathed and without any more injury troubles. Gabriel Jesus is the big absentee with a long-term knee problem sustained during the World Cup, whilst Reiss Nelson’s return remains unknown.

Having a full squad of players available – besides the aforementioned duo – for such a crucial encounter is a big boost to Arteta and the squad as he may be able to rotate if need be.

The likes of Kieran Tierney, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Marquinhos and Fabio Vieira were all named on the bench on the south coast, whilst Emile Smith Rowe could finally make his return, so there is certainly scope to rest if the Spaniard so wishes.

But with Oxford United early next week, Arsenal could go strong and unchanged in a bid to extend their stay at the top of the table and put more legroom between them and the chasing pack, of which the Magpies are included.

As such, this early team news hint from a reliable source will come as fantastic news to anyone concerned with the Gunners.

AND in other news, Arsenal agree on personal terms with £85m “baller”, he’s Arteta’s final piece of the puzzle…

Numisteamone

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