On the face of it, the game against Newcastle should be considered a banker for Arsenal, they have downgraded their manager, sold one of their best players and the fan base is in uproar talking about boycotting the game but as we all know, football is never that simple.
This game is not a walkover for Arsenal, far from it and there are clear dangers ahead.
For starters, there is Arsenal’s atrocious away form, that simply cannot be ignored and until there is evidence that the away day blues have been eradicated it remains a cause for concern.
Newcastle United are fully aware of Arsenal’s vulnerabilities on the road and that gives them confidence and the only way to drain that confidence is to quieten the crowd and get a goal as soon as possible.
The Arsenal defence remains weak at this point, there is no Tierney, Holding or Bellerin and so the only upgrade on last season is David Luiz and it is questionable if he is indeed an upgrade.
Losing Ozil and Kolasinac for this game is not the end of the world to be brutally honest, but we have no idea how their situation is affecting the rest of the team.
Newcastle may well have sold Ayoze Pérez but they have brought in Joelinton and Allan Saint-Maximin and it is arguable they are actually stronger now than they were at the end of last season.
Losing Rafael Benitez is obviously a major hit for them but if the players get behind Steve Bruce there is no reason why they cannot be as competitive as they were under the Spaniard.
So, in conclusion, Arsenal’s away form, vulnerable defence, missing players and Newcastle possibly stronger than last season all add up to significant dangers tomorrow.
I am confident Arsenal will win, we pose more dangers to Newcastle than they do to us but any complacency or lack of concentration and we will lose. As I said above, this is no walkover.
ARSENAL’S TOP FIVE GOALS AGAINST NEWCASTLE