Two teams in great form face each other at St. James’ Park for this 33rd round fixture in the Premier League (PL). Newcastle have climbed out of relegation worries with three wins on the bounce. Although just four places apart in the table, Newcastle sit 16 points adrift of Arsenal.
Newcastle’s impressive 2-1 win away over Leicester in the last round was the ‘Magpies’ first on the road since January 1. Manager Rafa Benitez was a proud man after the game, stating, “The reality is we deserved to win because we did very well against a very good team.
In true ‘Gunners’ style, Arsenal has transformed from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde over the past weeks, shifting from four losses in a row to six consecutive wins (all competitions) before their recent draw in the Europa League (CSKA, 2-2) secured a comfortable aggregate score of 6-3.
Arsenal rush from game to game every three days as the season winds down, and Arsene Wenger has been rotating his squad thoroughly in recent weeks. Arsenal have not played a single game away from home in over a month in the PL, and might not mind this one – they’ve won on four straight visits to Newcastle!
Players to watch: Ayoze Perez has had an off and on-season, but has scored the match winning goals in Newcastle’s last two wins.
Gabon international Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang seems to have cracked the code of English football. He has now produced five goals in four matches.
Stat attack: Newcastle have failed to claim a single point against Arsenal from their last ten matches. Five of the games have ended in a 0-1 defeat.
Goals galore! Arsenal have scored three goals or more in five of the last six games, and in 11 PL games so far this season.
Arsenal’s form in their last five on the road is as dismal as their home form is fantastic: four losses and one draw.