Arsenal: 3 things we’d like to see vs Newcastle

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Arsenal, ASM

3 things we’d like to see from Arsenal against Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Arsenal find themselves with unfamiliar familiarity. Having gone ten matches without tasting the bitter pill of defeat, they were reunited with the feeling they had started the season off being well acquainted with.

With a day or two of analysing what took place at Anfield and why it fell apart so drastically, attention swiftly turned to facing Newcastle at the Emirates Stadium, a fixture that is one of the more welcoming opportunities to kick back into gear.

This is the beginning of one of the elements of the Premier League that makes it so special: ten matches over the course of 35 days between Saturday and January 1 will come around for Mikel Arteta’s side. It’s a match every three and a half days.

It’s unique. It’s hotly debated. It’s invigorating.

3 things we’d like to see from Arsenal against Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday

Winless Newcastle being the first up on that spellbinding run of matches has the opportunity to set a welcome tone for the coming weeks. Win here, perhaps comfortably as well, and the following trips to Old Trafford and Goodison Park can be treated as further stepping stones to another unbeaten spell.

Eddie Howe was not due to be in the dugout having tested positive for COVID-19, but a negative test on Friday means he can be, while Arteta oversees his 102nd match at the helm. The two year anniversary is fast approaching, and should he want to make it that far with supporters eyeing a further 24 months, nothing short of victory will do here.

Losing 4-0 to Liverpool has prompted the usual overreactions; Arsenal are not in that echelon and while the manner of the loss is never excusable, defeat at Anfield was always expected.

Defeat here, however, would be catastrophic. In order to avoid such a wretched thought playing out, there are a few things we have to see from the team on Saturday to claim three valuable points.

Arsenal, ESR

Arsenal’s English midfielder Emile Smith Rowe celebrates scoring his team’s third goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Aston Villa. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

1. Aston Villa 2.0

Some of the football on display in that first half against Aston Villa was breathless. Arsenal swarmed on the visitors like flies over dung and the energy from back to front, epitomised by the full-backs pinning Villa’s wing-backs deep into their half, was joyous to watch.

Since then, the home matches have left a bit to be desired.

The Carabao Cup win over Leeds was an efficient display without being anything more than it needed to be, and Watford on home soil felt flatter despite Arsenal managing to work some openings through the Hornets’ lines.

Newcastle have the worst defence in the league. If this Arsenal team can’t carve open a hatful of chances then the concerns over their creative issues can be fully realised. The Magpies have a Championship defence littered with positionally unaware defenders who struggle to track runners and hold an effective line.

From the first minute this needs to be high intensity football that gets Arsenal in front and forces Newcastle to open the game up in the hosts’ favour. Having been demolished by Liverpool’s pulsating attacking play, Arsenal need to do their best to mirror that against a side without a single win in 12 matches.

Prove that Anfield was just a blip.

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