Arsenal travel up to Newcastle with an excellent record of going 7 games unbeaten, but we can still not take a win for granted up in St James Park for the simple reason that our away form has been unbelievably dire this season. Since the New Year we have lost every single one of our four away matches in the EPL and that does not compare favourably with Newcastle United’s home form in the same period. The Magpies are unbeaten in their last 7 matches at home, and have won their last three without conceding a goal, including beating Man United 1-0.
Arsene Wenger has also admitted that the pressure of a long trip back from Moscow on Thursday night could also have a big effect on today’s match. Wenger said: ”Honestly, it is very difficult. We land at 5am (Friday) and we play Sunday morning.
“And the second thing that is very difficult is that when you play [in the Premier League], everybody else has already played.
“Not only are you physically very jaded but also you are under huge pressure each time to win the game. It is maybe mentally tougher than physically.
“[Fatigue] is a little bit of a concern because for long periods now, with the League Cup in the middle of the season, it is a bit difficult.
“You look at City and they look a bit like that in the second half of games recently.
“Fortunately next week we can recover. I rotate as much as I can. Unfortunately some players have to play all the games.”
History is definitely in Arsenal’s favour though as the Gunners have won their last ten meetings with the Magpies going back to 2010…
Wenger has hinted that he will do a bit of rotation to get some fresh legs, but with Burnley just two points below us now the boss simply cannot afford to take too many chances. So I have chosen this Arsenal starting XI…
Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal
Elneny, Xhaka, Iwobi
It is imperative that we do not concede early, which is something we have not been very good at lately, especially away from home, but I am going to go for a bold prediction of 1-0 to Arsenal. Strong at the back and Aubameyang to poach the winner!