Tenth-placed Arsenal welcome twelfth-placed Newcastle to the Emirates after the Winter break. Both sides are on the same point, and are only separated by goal difference. Newcastle will want to get further away from the relegation spaces, and Arsenal will be looking to win a match that could serve as a catalyst for the rest of the season. Read this article to see our betting tips for this game.
After the match against Burnley, Alan Shearer described Arsenal as a mid-table club (ouch); and the table seems to support his assertion with Mikel Arteta’s men languishing in 10th place after earning a paltry 31 points from 25 matches; which puts them closer to the relegation spot than they are to the last Champions League spot. 17 of those 31 points have come from home, with the Gunners only winning four of their 12 home matches, a disappointing 30% win.
The team’s last outing in the league was a goalless stalemate at Burnley, a match they could have won and lost, with both sides missing gilt-edged chances. That result was the Gunners’ fourth consecutive draw in the league. The Gunners are the draw specialists, after 13 draws from their first 25 matches. They’ve only lost six matches, same as second- and- third-placed Manchester City and Leicester City, but it is the draws that have seen the North London club anchored in midtable.
One of the reasons for so many draws is the team’s bluntness in front of the goal. The Gunners have only scored 32 goals and conceded 34 goals, and have a negative goal difference. Granted, the team has improved defensively under Mikel Arteta, but the team’s malaise in front of the goal persists, fact typified by Lazazette’s struggles. The French international hasn’t scored a goal in two months, and pressure is mounting on the forward.
Steve Bruce’s Newcastle have been plucky and difficult to beat in recent matches, and that has been enough to see them keep their distance from the relegation spots. The Magpies have only lost once in four matches – against Leicester City – and have earned draws against Wolves, Everton and Norwich. The outstanding result of that run, however, is their 1-0 win over Chelsea at St. James’ Park.
Overall this season, the men from the North East have earned eight wins, seven draws and 10 losses, scoring 24 goals and conceding 36. Their away form has seen them earn 11 points from 12 matches thanks to three wins, two draws and seven losses. In those 12 away matches, Bruce’s men have scored 12 and conceded 24 goals. Newcastle will be coming into this match off the back of a 3-2 extra-time win over Oxford United, in the replay of their fourth-round FA Cup tie.
Newcastle have also had four new additions to the team, including the loan signing of Danny Rose from Tottenham. Other additions include the arrival of Bentaleb from Schalke and Lazaro from Inter Milan.
Arsenal may be able to call on the services of Kolasinac and Reiss Nelson, who have both been absent with injury. Bukayo Saka might also be back, after the left-winger was withdrawn due to injury in the match against Burnley. Newcastle have some players that are doubtful for that game as well, including Jonjo Shelvey and Joelinton.
Arsenal have a very good record against Newcastle, with eight wins out of the last nine matches. That said, this is a very different season, and Arsenal have struggled to win games. Arsenal have drawn their last four matches, and the Magpies themselves have drawn five of their last eight matches. So, it’s not hard to imagine that the game could end up a stalemate. However, with Mikel Arteta getting more time to work with his players, Arsenal could well have more than enough to eke a win. In terms of goals, both sides have been poor in front of goal. Arsenal have only scored 31 goals all season and Newcastle only 24 goals from 25 matches each. This would most likely be a low-scoring affair. Netbet offers the following odds: Under 3.5 goals – 1.46 odds; Under 2.5 goals – 2.20 odds. Click here to read more about the bookmaker Netbet.
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