By 90Min
April 14, 2018

Newcastle United host Arsenal at St James' Park this Sunday, as the Magpies look to continue their good run of form.

The home side will be looking to leapfrog Everton in ninth with a win against an Arsenal side who haven't got a lot to play for in the league.

Here's everything you need to know ahead of the encounter.


Form

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Newcastle have been very impressive recently with Rafa Benítez's side only losing once in their last six games. That loss came against an in-form Liverpool team.

Since the turn of the year, Newcastle haven't lost at home in the league, and the Geordies have recently beaten Manchester United, Southampton and Huddersfield at St James' Park. What makes this even more impressive, is that they didn't concede in those three games.

Visitors Arsenal have also been in good form. Arsène Wenger's side are unbeaten in their last seven in all competitions. The Gunners played out a 2-2 draw against CSKA Moscow in the Europa League quarter finals on Thursday, a result which sees them through to the semi finals.

In the league, Arsenal have been playing with a lot of freedom. The pressure is off them, as they're extremely unlikely to finish in the top four, and they've benefited from this. Arsenal have won their last three games in the league.


Team News


After their win against Leicester City last week, it's unlikely Benítez will want to change much from that perfect away performance. Islam Slimani could feature, as he returns from a long-term injury, but Newcastle have no fresh injury concerns.

ALEXANDER NEMENOV/GettyImages

It's likely changes will be made by Wenger following Thursday's draw against CSKA Moscow. His side will be fatigued from the game and the four hour flight. 

Wenger won't have Armenian Henrikh Mkhitaryan at his disposal as he is currently sidelined with an injury. Goalkeeper David Ospina is also unavailable due to injury. Elneny will be available as his red card against Southampton was overturned.


Potential Newcastle United Starting Lineup: Dubravka; Dummett, Lejeune, Lascelles, Yedlin; Kenedy, Shelvey, Diame, Ritchie; Ayoze Perez; Gayle


Potential Arsenal Starting Lineup; Cech; Kolašinac, Chambers, Mustafi, Bellerin; 

Elneny, Xhaka; Nelson, Iwobi, Welbeck; Aubameyang


Previous Encounter


These two faced off in December where Arsenal ran out 1-0 winners. A Mesut Ozil goal in the 23rd minute got Arsenal all three points in a game they deserved to win.

GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

The Gunners dominated possession and limited Newcastle to only two shots on target. However, since then Newcastle have drastically improved and will look to give Arsenal more of a problem this time round.


Classic Encounter


Newcastle United 4-4 Arsenal

Who could forget about the 4-4 game back in 2011?

Arsenal took the lead within 44 seconds as Theo Walcott scored from close range. Wenger's side doubled their lead only two minutes later, with Djourou's glancing header from a free kick finding its way into the back of the net. 

Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

Arsenal were well in control, and only eight minutes later they made it 3-0. Walcott teed up Van Persie to make it 3-0 to the Gunners. Van Persie made it four with 20 minutes left of the first half with a powerful header past Harper.

However, Abou Diaby got sent off for Arsenal early in the second half, and it started to go downhill for the visitors. 

Leon Best was bundled over by Koscielny in the penalty area, and Joey Barton scored the resulting penalty to make it 4-1. With 15 minutes left, Newcastle halved the deficit. Best scored from close range after Arsenal couldn't deal with a simple cross. 

In the 82nd minute, Newcastle were awarded another penalty when Mike Williamson was fouled by Koscielny. Barton scored again, and Alan Pardew's side had eight minutes to restore parity. 

GRAHAM STUART/GettyImages

A thunderous strike from Cheik Tiote beat Szczesny, and Newcastle had made one of the great Premier League comebacks.


Key Battles


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vs Jamal Lascelles


Aubameyang has been in great form recently, and the striker has notched five goals in his last four games for Arsenal.

The striker has so far lived up to the expectations. Signed in January from Borussia Dortmund for a club record fee of £56m, the 28-year-old is the first Arsenal player to score five times in his first six games.

Julian Finney/GettyImages

Lascelles has been a frequent figure in the Newcastle squad this season, but he will be faced with the task of keeping Aubameyang at bay as Newcastle hunt for their fourth win in a row.

Kenedy vs Sead Kolašinac

Kenedy has been extremely impressive for Newcastle recently. In seven games, the Brazilian has two goals and three assists. However, he is only at the club on loan, and he has has reportedly caught the eye of European giants PSG and Bayern Munich, according to Sky Sports.

Alex Livesey/GettyImages

Kolašinac will be looking to impress Wenger and go ahead of Monreal in the pecking order at Arsenal. Keeping the impressive Kenedy quiet will go a long way in doing that.


Prediction

GEOFF CADDICK/GettyImages

Newcastle have been very impressive at home since the start of 2018.  Arsenal's main focus is the Europa League, but the pressure being off could benefit them as it has done in recent weeks. 

However, Newcastle's recent momentum should see them emerge victorious. Accompanied by the fact that Arsenal have only won three times on the road in the league this season, Newcastle should be able to get the three points.


Prediction: Newcastle United 2-1 Arsenal

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