Arsenal welcome Newcastle in the Premier League on Monday evening.
There is a joke in there somewhere about Magpies supposedly being attracted to silver, Arsenal being a mid-table side and them heading to the Emirates twice in a week. Far too complicated to ponder over. I digress.
After everyone has awoken from the slumber they were hypnotised into during the 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace in midweek, football returns to the Emirates Stadium for a third consecutive fixture.
Talk of a supposed corner being turned following three Premier League wins on the bounce was the natural response to seeing Arsenal be anything other than dreadful, although the draw with the Eagles resurfaced a few previously dormant issues.
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Namely, the dreaded low-block.
Anyone hoping they’d seen the last of such a setup for a few days at least won’t be best pleased to know it’s Newcastle on Monday. Any sane manager will know stifling Arsenal in this sense is the best way to nullify their threats, not least when you’re a team who’d be more than pleased to leave the Emirates Stadium with a point in the bag.
Steve Bruce is one such boss, who despite being under considerable pressure on Tyneside will know a draw away at Mikel Arteta‘s side would constitute a positive result. That isn’t to say they won’t try to score, and as supporters will know, were it not for Bernd Leno’s fine intervention in the FA Cup they could, and probably should, have booked their own spot in the fourth round.
Some key members of the squad could return to the starting lineup for Monday, players who will aid the Arsenal cause immensely. Even with some familiar faces back in the team, the lack of quality in the final third was telling against Crystal Palace and a Plan B has to be sought out for sides happy to stick ten men behind the ball.
How will this one go? Here’s your preview ahead of Newcastle’s Premier League visit.
How to Watch on TV
When Is Kick Off? Monday 18 January
What Time Is Kick Off? 20:00 (GMT)
Where Is it Played? The Emirates Stadium
TV Channel/Live Stream? Sky Sports (UK) fuboTV (USA)
Referee? David Coote