After a disappointing elimination from the Champions League in midweek, Arsenal travel to St James’ Park to face a Newcastle United side that has only won twice since the departure of Alan Pardew at the beginning of the year.
Despite having been knocked out of Europe, Arsene Wenger’s men were very impressive in their 2-0 away victory over Monaco and would do well to put in a similar performance against the Magpies.
Alexis Sanchez was cautioned for simulation and Danny Welbeck was largely ineffective but those were the only two notable blips on what was a fantastic display by an Arsenal outfit that really wanted to control proceedings.
Newcastle, on the other hand, have not picked up three points against a team above the relegation zone since 26 December 2014 when they came from behind to beat Everton 3-2.
Head Coach John Carver has failed to live up to Pardew’s standards and his job will be made all the more difficult with captain Fabricio Coloccini suspended and top-scorer Papiss Cisse sidelined through injury.
In the last 10 meetings between the two clubs, the Gunners have found the net on 26 occasions to Newcastle’s 10 and have only lost once.
A third straight defeat could see Newcastle drop to thirteenth in the league and, with eight games still to play after this, they may well find themselves in a battle to steer clear of the drop zone.
Arsenal could climb into second position but then they could also move into fourth, three points ahead of Liverpool if the Reds lose to Manchester United.