Arsenal will look to maintain their position in the top four when they host Newcastle United on Monday in the Premier League. Newcastle will travel to the Emirates Stadium as they aim to put relegation chances beyond any reasonable doubt.
The Gunners are in the fourth spot right now, and Unai Emery will want Champions League football in his second season in charge. They can jump into fourth place with a draw or a win, ahead of Manchester United. Chelsea in sixth place are also competing for the top four, and the race is bound to be a tight one.Embed from Getty Images
Arsenal’s fixtures till the end of the season are the easiest, which gives them the advantage in the race. Their last Premier League game was three weeks ago as the defeated Manchester United 2-0 at the Emirates. It was a huge victory for Emery, and one which changed the top four picture massively.
Newcastle are 14th in the table, and they are a healthy 7 points clear of the relegation zone. They have played well in recent months, and Rafa Benitez has done a wonderful job for the second successive season. They drew their last league game 2-2 at Bournemouth, as Matt Ritchie scored a last-minute equalizer.Embed from Getty Images
Emery has a lot of injuries to deal with. Midfielder Aaron Ramsey is a doubt, as he is suffering from a thigh problem. Granit Xhaka is also a doubt, whereas Lucas Torreira is suspended following his red card against Tottenham a couple of weeks ago. Aside from the long-term absentees in defence, Nacho Monreal is also not a certainty to feature.
Benitez has few problems of his own, as Sean Longstaff is the only major absentee. Central defenders Fabian Schar and Jamaal Lascelles should brush of knocks to feature against Arsenal. Benitez’s record at Arsenal is woeful, and he has taken just two points from his last seven visits to the London side.
Arsenal vs Newcastle Preview and Prediction
Arsenal’s home form this year has been brilliant, and the Gunners have won all their home league games in 2019. If they win against Newcastle, it would be their tenth consecutive home win in the Premier League. The opening day loss against Manchester City is their only home defeat in the league thus far. They are unbeaten in their last 5 Premier League games, which bodes well for the game on Monday.
Newcastle have lost their last six visits to The Emirates, conceding 18 goals in the process. They cannot afford to take the rest of the season for granted, even though they are comfortably in 14th place. Benitez will hope to frustrate Arsenal and get some joy on the counter-attack.
Arsenal are favorites to win the game, and they should win handsomely. The total goals in the match should be Over 3. The Gunners home form should continue, and the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette will have some joy. Arsenal need the three points to stay in the top four, and they will most likely get it.
Total Goals: Over 3 @ 1.97 at Pinnacle Sports