This weeks View From the Enemy comes direct from the Official Newcastle United website and has lots of interesting notes and stats… Enjoy!
Premier League: Arsenal (h)
The Magpies return to action on Saturday when Unai Emery brings his Gunners side to Tyneside for a non-televised, old-fashioned 3pm kick-off.
The Magpie Group intend to stage a protest across the road from the Sports Direct branch at SJP aka the NUFC club shop at 2.15pm details here
This game is one of several in the Premier League on Saturday chosen for VAR coverage – but none of the decisions made remotely will be communicated to the match referee.
As part of their ongoing trials, the Professional Game Match Officials organisation intend to simultaneously operate VAR at all five 3pm Premier League games that day, to see if their system is fit for purpose.
However there will be no communication to match officials regarding any incidents and no notifications within the stadium to spectators.
The Magpies are rated 14/5 to repeat last season’s victory and another 2-1 home success is 11/1.
A 2-1 success at Gallowgate last April was our first home victory over Arsenal in ten PL games and one has to go back to 1994/95 (1-0) and 1995/96 (2-0) to find consecutive wins over them for NUFC at SJP.
Those successive victories came before the arrival of Arsene Wenger in September 1996, Stewart Houston in charge of the first and Bruce Rioch the second.
Emery has occupied the visiting dugout at SJP previously, seeing his Valencia side beaten 1-2 on Tyneside in a friendly match back in August 2008.
NUFC: Isaac Hayden is available after completing his three match suspension and there’s optimism that Matt Ritchie and Jonjo Shelvey could both return.
Long-term absentee Florian Lejeune remains out and given their long-distance return from international duty, Salomon Rondon and DeAndre Yedlin are not certain to feature in the starting lineup.
AFC: Laurent Koscielny, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Sead Kolasinac and Carl Jenkinson remain out but Lucas Torreira and Alex Iwobi are should be available.
Arsenal began the season with a 0-2 home defeat by Manchester City before going down 2-3 at Chelsea. Collecting their first points thanks to a 3-1 success against West Ham at the Emirates, they then went to Cardiff and ran out 3-2 winners.
All eight of their goals this season have been scored by different players (including an OG).
Referee: Lee Probert – first NUFC appointment of 2018 for this Wiltshire-based official, last spotted in charge of our 2-2 draw at West Bromwich Albion in November 2017.
Probert’s most recent visit to Tyneside was for a 3-1 FA Cup home victory over Birmingham City back in January 2017.
Gunners @ SJP – Premier League era:
2017/18: Won 2-1 Perez, Ritchie
2015/16: Lost 0-1
2014/15: Lost 1-2 Sissoko
2013/14: Lost 0-1
2012/13: Lost 0-1
2011/12: Drew 0-0
2010/11: Drew 4-4 Barton 2, Best, Tiote
2010/11: Lost 0-4 (LC)
2008/09: Lost 1-3 Martins
2007/08: Drew 1-1 S.Taylor
2006/07: Drew 0-0
2005/06: Won 1-0 Solano
2004/05: Lost 0-1
2003/04: Drew 0-0
2002/03: Drew 1-1 Robert
2001/02: Drew 1-1 Robert (FAC)
2001/02: Lost 0-2
2000/01: Drew 0-0
1999/00: Won 4-2 Speed 2, Shearer, Griffin
1998/99: Drew 1-1 Hamann
1997/98: Lost 0-1
1996/97: Lost 1-2 Shearer
1995/96: Won 2-0 Ginola, Ferdinand
1994/95: Won 1-0 Beardsley
1993/94: Won 2-0 Cole, Beardsley
So last year was the first time Arsenal have lost at St James Park in ten years! Let’s hope normal service resumes tomorrow….