Arsenal (6-13-6) vs. Newcastle (8-7-10)
Premier League: February 16, 2020 at 11:30 am ET (Emirates Stadium)
Line and Odds: Arsenal -225/ Newcastle +721 — Over +102/ Under -112
FREE EPL Pick Arsenal vs Newcastle United
Gunners search for inspiration to break barren run
Newcastle United travel to London on Sunday to take on Arsenal with both teams level on points. The hosts lie at the very base of the top-half of the table, one ahead of Newcastle in 11th on goal difference. Victory could see either team jump to within three points of the Europa League spots.
Mikel Arteta was welcomed with open arms when his arrival was announced thanks to his football knowledge, but it was also expected that he would have a ton of work on his hands. Since taking over from Unai Emery in December, the ex-Gunner has overseen only one loss, but Arsenal have failed to inspire, drawing five of their nine games under Arteta and winning just three. The run includes four draws and just one win from their last five matches. Arsenal first drew 1-1 at Crystal Palace, playing the last quarter of the match with 10 men after goalscorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was sent off. They followed it up with a 1-1 draw at home to Sheffield United before rallying back twice to draw 2-2 with Chelsea, playing more than an hour with ten men after David Luiz was sent off in the 26th minute. A 2-1 victory in the FA Cup over Bournemouth provided some hope, but another drab performance in a 0-0 draw at Burnley means Arsenal find themselves in a rut. A lack of incision in front of goal and of solidity while protecting their own means the Gunners have already drawn more games this season (13) than in the famous 2003-04 season that saw them lift the league unbeaten (12). This also means they have fewer wins than opponents Newcastle, Southampton, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth and Aston Villa who all lie below them in the table. Arteta will hope his team can turn around the corner and collect three vital points at home.
Steve Bruce’s appointment was treated with a lot of criticism, but the 59-year-old has quietly gone about his job with great efficiency. Newcastle United are within touching distance of a top-half finish and have strung together an eight-game unbeaten run (3W 5D) in all competitions. They have won two and drawn three of their last five matches. A shock 1-0 victory over Chelsea was followed by three draws, 2-2 at Carlo Ancelotti’s in-form Everton, 0-0 in the FA Cup to Oxford and 0-0 at home to Norwich. However, the Magpies put in a brilliant performance in the FA Cup replay to see off Oxford 3-2 and book their place in the next round. Newcastle come into this match with momentum and will hope to secure all three points or at the most, keep their unbeaten streak alive.
Cover The Spread 365 Soccer Betting Trends
– Arsenal are 4-6 ATS in their last 10 Premier League matches.
– Arsenal are 1-10-1 ATS at home in the Premier League this season.
– Arsenal are 9-13-3 O/U in the Premier League this season.
– Newcastle are 5-5 ATS in their last 10 Premier League matches.
– Newcastle are 6-5-1 ATS away from home in the Premier League this season.
– Newcastle are 11-13-1 O/U in the Premier League this season.
FREE EPL Prediction Newcastle United vs Arsenal
Last Time Out
Arsenal clinched a game of few chances on the opening day of the season at St. James’s Park. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the only goal, chipping Martin Dubravka a few minutes before the hour-mark to give the Gunners a victory. Both teams managed just two shots each on target in a rather dull affair, but Arsenal, then with Emery at the helm, secured an important victory along with a clean sheet on the opening day – the first time since the 2008-09 season.
Gabriel Martinelli will be Arsenal’s most important player in this clash. With Aubameyang looking off-colour in recent weeks and Alexandre Lacazette’s struggles since the start of the season, the onus will fall on the young Brazilian to do the business in the final-third. Martinelli has 10 goals in all competitions this season and seems to have won the trust of Arteta. Another goal or two on Sunday will only enhance his rising reputation.
Matteo Guendouzi will be the other vital player for the Gunners. The Frenchman has not been able to replicate the brilliance his initial brilliance in an Arsenal shirt, but the match against Newcastle could change that. The Magpies’s 5-4-1 formation means they have enough bodies behind the ball at all times. Guendouzi’s bursts of pace and vision will come to the fore if Arsenal are to score and secure a victory, while he will also have to track back to shore up a brittle Gunners defence.
Allan Saint-Maximin has been one of Newcastle’s bright points this season and Steve Bruce will hope he can put in another good performance here. The Frenchman has the pace and physicality to give Arsenal’s defence all kinds of problems. While he has only one goal and one assist in the league so far, Saint-Maximin has easily been among the best players for the Magpies this season and he will hope to put in another impressive shift.
Federico Fernandez will also be required to step up. The centre-back has been impressive in fleeting moments, but a more complete performance will be required against an Arsenal attack that can be extremely dangerous on its day. Fernandez has also helped himself to two goals and an assist this season and given Arsenal’s defensive problems against the dead ball, he could prove to be a potent threat from corners and free-kicks.
Reiss Nelson, Kieran Tierney and Calum Chambers are all long-term casualties and will miss the match. Sead Kolasinac could however return to the squad while new signing Pablo Mari might also make his debut.
Predicted Line-up: Leno; Kolasinac, Luiz, Mustafi, Bellerin; Xhaka, Guendouzi; Aubameyang, Ozil, Pepe; Martinelli.
Paul Dummett, Jetro Willems, Andy Carroll and Dwight Gayle are unlikely to feature, while Jonjo Shelvey is also a doubt for this fixture. Joelinton and Yoshinori Moto have returned to training, but their availability remains unknown.
Predicted Line-up: Dubravka; Ritchie, Clark, Lascelles, Fernandez, Yedlin; Saint-Maximin, Bentaleb, Hayden, Almiron; Joelinton.