Monday night we face off against Newcastle United in the Premier League in a game we simply must win, a loss would be a huge blow to making the top four via the league and with four teams in the running any dropped points will give a huge advantage to our nearest rivals.
Arsenal (at 1.38) are massive favorites against Newcastle (8.50), largely because the Gunners have been nearly perfect at the Emirates, going 13-2-1 in EPL play with a phenomenal +25 goal difference. However, the lads at SBD think it’s best not to overlook the Magpies for a potential for a draw (at 4.40), given how much better The Toon have looked since mid-January. That said, it will be an immense challenge for Newcastle to contain Auba and/or Lacazette without suspended centerback Fabian Schar.
A quick analysis of the game indicates to me that patience will be required against Rafa Benitez’s side, he has them well organised now, they are in good form and if you look at their half time results they have had no less than 12 0-0 draws. But, with home advantage and our own impressive record at the Emirates I am convinced we will score in the first half and settle the nerves down, and therefore my first prediction is…
Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle half time score @ 5/2
I am not expecting a high scoring game, Newcastle will remain defensive throughout and will frustrate us as best they can and that brings me to my next two predictions…
Arsenal 2-0 full-time correct score @ 8/1
Arsenal to win and under 2.5 goals @ 16/5
My next prediction involves our goal scoring machine Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, he is in the race for the Golden Boot, his confidence is high and I am very confident myself that he will score at some point in the game.
Prices on the Gabon superstar to score anytime are not great but combined with us winning the game we at least get a odds against price.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to score and Arsenal win @ 11/10
And finally, the referee.
Anthony Taylor will be officiating the game and there are two stats that stand out with him, the first is that he rarely hands out a red card, just one in 27 games this season, which compares very favourably with the likes of Mike Dean who has dished out a massive nine.
However, he loves to whip out the yellow card and has handed out an average of 3.26 yellows per game in the Premier League, a total of 88, the second highest total of all refs.
Now, I feel this will be a tough game for us, we will win but Newcastle will frustrate us and for me, a lot of battles will take place in the midfield, that is where the Newcastle players will try to break the game up and that is where our very own Matteo Guendouzi comes into things.
Guendouzi can get a little over excited and I would not be surprised if he does pick up a card at some point in the game.
Matteo Guendouzi to be carded @ 4/1.
So there you have it, a low scoring Arsenal win in a game that will require patience with Aubameyang scoring at some point and Guendouzi picking up a caution.
Finally, I am not recommending any of these bets, not at all, these are purely predictions with the odds as a guide to what the bookies feel is likely to happen, that’s all.