Sunday 11 August: 2pm KO
Live on Sky Sports
Both of these clubs have had surprises during the summer. They weren’t all good ones though, just ask a Newcastle United fan. Arsenal supporters saw their club finally make some expensive signings. Newcastle United did too but they also appointed Steve Bruce as manager.
Newcastle United fans haven’t had the best of summers. Transfer windows are always a bit stressful for them but one that includes the appointment of Steve Bruce as boss is even worse. There’s continual unrest at Newcastle, so much that some fans will boycott this opening Premier League game.
The loss of Rafael Benitez was bad enough, appointing Bruce was the final straw for some. The continued presence of Mike Ashley doesn’t please United fans either. Mind you, how can they say there’s no investment in the team when they spent £65m on players? That follows a record signing in the previous transfer window.
United did sign a new striker or two. Joelinton has arrived from Hoffenheim for £40m. They have also re-signed Andy Carroll. A possibly good acquisition but fans will be forever asking ‘is he fit this week?’ Newcastle are being tipped to struggle this season but that’s usually the case. This is a tough start for them and it’s 16/5 (4.2) at Paddy Power that they beat Arsenal.
The Gunners also suprised their fans with only Manchester United and Aston Villa spending more money. The arrival of Nicolas Pepe for £72m adds even more venom to their attack. Any Arsenal fan will tell you though that it’s the defence that needs sorting out. The signings of David Luiz and Kieran Tierney should go a long way towards solving that problem.
Arsenal finished fifth in the Premier League last season. They had the horror of missing out twice on a return to the Champions League. Pipped by Tottenham in the Premier League and then losing to Chelsea in the final of the Europa League. You can get odds of 11/8 (2.37) at SkyBet on them finishing in the top four this season.
Aside from improving their defence, Arsenal also need to get better results on their Premier League travels. Too many games have been lost in the past two seasons. Not all those away defeats were against sides challenging in the top half of the table.They need to be winning games like this if they want to get back into the top four. Coral will supply you with odds of 17/20 (1.85) on Arsenal beating Newcastle United.
Arsenal have won 12 of their last 13 games against Newcastle United. They have only away to them once since 2005. Four of the last six meetings have had under 2.5 goals scored in them. will give you odd of on that stat coming up on Sunday. You have to go back to 2011 for the last time a game between these two sides ended in a daw. The odds on a Sunday stalemate are 27/10 (3.7) at William Hill.
Newcastle United will be without DeAndre Yedln and Yedin for this game. Joelinton is expected to make his debut and is 12/5 (3.4) at Bet365 to score on Sunday. Andy Carroll isn’t ready to play for them yet.
Arsenal will be missing Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac due to “security concerns with Kieran Tierney injured. There are also doubts over Alexandre Lacazette, Nicholas Pepe and Mohammed Elneny.
Newcastle to Score
Seven of the last eight Newcastle United home league games have seen them score a goal. It’s that they will get at least one against Arsenal on Sunday. That’s possible because Arsenal have only kept two clean sheets in their last 29 away league matches. Now you can see why the Gunners needed new defenders.
Arsenal begin a new season hoping they will get back in the top four. They will hope their big spending will produce a top four finish. Arsenal have a few selection problems for this game but look stronger than their opponents. An Arsenal win with over 1.5 goals scored has odds of 6/5 (2.2) at Ladbrokes.