Meanwhile the Magpies were recently defeated 5-0 by Manchester City, while the Gunners were thrashed 3-0 by Tottenham Hotspur in the North London derby on Thursday night.
- Even this late in the season, Newcastle is getting encouraging news. Both Kieran Trippier and Callum Wilson were on the bench against Manchester City, while Ryan Fraser is back in training and might make the team this week.
- Former Arsenal trio Isaac Hayden and Joe Willock, as well as Jonjo Shelvey and Federico Fernandez, are still on the sidelines, and Howe must determine if Trippier and Wilson are healthy enough to play from the start.
- After replacing Emil Krafth and Chris Wood after 68 minutes against Man City, Howe may be ready to take a chance on Trippier and Wilson in a game that he believes is winnable.
- While Newcastle’s treatment room is emptying, Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes was forced to retire against Tottenham due to a muscle injury, and his participation is presently in doubt.
- Takehiro Tomiyasu and Ben White should form the centre-back partnership here, providing the latter is well enough. Arteta will already be missing Kierney and Thomas Partey, as well as the suspended Holding.
- Martinelli was also observed hobbling just before his 64th-minute substitute in the derby, and Arteta’s cautious approach may mean Emile Smith Rowe gets the nod on the left instead.
Newcastle hasn’t broken through Arsenal’s defense in almost three years, but the Gunners are leaking goals at an alarming pace, and Allan Saint-Maximin in particular will like his chances against the Gunners’ full-backs.
When Arsenal is in a bad mood, they are in a terrible mood, but Newcastle is still prone to sloppy defensive displays and might settle for an entertaining draw with the Gunners – not that it will help the visitors’ Champions League aspirations.
Our prediction is Newcastle 1-2 Arsenal
Newcastle: Longstaff, Guimaraes, Joelinton; Almiron, Wilson, Saint-Maximin; Trippier, Lascelles, Burn, Targett;
Arsenal: Xhaka, Elneny; Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Nketiah; Ramsdale; Cedric, Tomiyasu, White, Tavares;