Arsenal continue their battle for a Champions League spot when they host Newcastle United on Monday night.
The Gunners currently occupy fourth place in the Premier League table and now sit just one point behind fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur, thanks to a run of five games without defeat most recently extended with a 2-0 win over Manchester United before the international break.
In Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, Unai Emery has two of the Premier League’s most-feared attacking weapons at his disposal, and they may well need them against a Newcastle side on a run of just two defeats in nine games, with wins over Manchester City and Everton along the way.
Inspired by the signing of Miguel Almiron in January, Rafa Benitez has propelled the Magpies to 13th in the table, with the aforementioned Paraguayan linking up well with Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon to open up a new attacking dimension. Meanwhile, Newcastle have lost little of the defensive structure and organisation that kept them afloat prior to securing their new record transfer.
That said, Newcastle have lost on each of their last six visits to the Emirates Stadium, while the north east side have also managed just two wins in their last 14 meetings with Arsenal, drawing two and losing the other 10.
Read on for Arsenal v Newcastle United TV channel info, predicted XIs, team news and stats.
When is Arsenal v Newcastle United?
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Date: Monday, 1 April
Kick-off: 8:00 PM BST
Where can I watch the match live?
UK residents can watch Arsenal v Newcastle on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League, channels 401 and 402 respectively on Sky and channels 511 and 512 respectively for Virgin Media users.
Do Arsenal have the top-four race’s easiest run-in?
With the international break firmly in the rear-view mirror, we’re really hitting the business end of the season now. Not only is it going to be intriguing to watch Liverpool and Man City’s title race unfold, but the battle for top four couldn’t be closer, with Tottenham, Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea all separated by just four points.
Spurs may be in third place, but they still face trips to Liverpool and Man City in their run in, while just behind Arsenal in fifth, Man Utd still have home ties against Man City and Chelsea as well as tricky away trips to Wolves and Everton.
Sixth-placed Chelsea have that aforementioned trip to Old Trafford to contend with, as well as an away clash with Liverpool on April 14. For fourth-placed Arsenal, however, the job looks considerably easier on paper.
The Gunners don’t face any of their ‘big six’ rivals during their final eight games and although away games against Everton, Watford, Wolves and Leicester will certainly be big tests for Emery, he would surely take them over a trip to the Etihad or Anfield.
Do Newcastle have the most effective front three in the league right now?
On the face of it, with no goals or assists, it would appear Almiron is still struggling to adapt to Premier League life. However, a simple look at his contributions in games shows a completely different story.
The Paraguayan has initiated two fast breaks during his time with the Magpies – only Aubameyang (three) tops that – while he has created 11 chances so far. Impressive? Sure. That figure looks even more impressive, though, when compared to the rest of the Premier League since he made his debut against Wolves, with only James Maddison and Newcastle’s very own Ayoze Perez creating more chances (14) from open play, while Salomon Rondon is tied with Almiron on 11. Oh, and even Isaac Hayden has created 11 chances during that time.
Most chances created in #PL since Almiron's debut:
James Maddison (14) 🔵
Ayoze Perez (14) ⚫⚪
Miguel Almiron (11) ⚫⚪
Isaac Hayden (11) ⚫⚪
Salomon Rondon (11) ⚫⚪
What a difference he's made for #NUFC
— Chris Smith (@CJSmith91) March 30, 2019
Since Almiron’s debut, Newcastle have had the most effective front three in the Premier League, while Rondon and Perez have a combined six goals and three assists during that time. With the inclusion of the former Atlanta United man, Rafa Benitez has found the perfect synthesis between pace, creativity, and direct goalscoring threat up front, casting aside that image of pragmatism and turning his side into one of the most dangerous attacking forces outside the top six.
* Stats correct as of March 29 20:00
Newcastle’s Arsenal horror show
So Newcastle have been much improved in recent weeks, with a much more exciting and dynamic attacking outlook. However, Monday poses them with their most difficult task of all – Arsenal.
To put it bluntly, the Magpies are absolutely terrible against the north Londoners, suffering more defeats to Arsenal (44) than any other club in all competitions since making a top-flight return in the 1965/66 season.
Their goal difference against Arsenal during that time is -59, only against Liverpool (-71) and Man Utd (-74) have they fared worse, while Newcastle have lost 11 of their last 12 meetings with the Gunners. To turn this around away from home, Benitez is going to need every member of his squad right at the top of their respective games.
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Monday night’s clash will be the 182nd meeting between Arsenal and Newcastle, with the fixture dating back to 1893.
Historically, the two sides share closer records than you might think, with the Gunners only edging out the Magpies 76-67 on wins. However, recent times haven been less than kind to Newcastle when facing up to their London adversaries, with Arsenal winning 11 of their last 12 meetings.
Arsenal wins: 76 Draws: 38 Newcastle wins: 67
Arsenal have suffered terribly due to injuries this season but Emery will welcome the good news of Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka and Nacho Monreal all training normally after the trio struggled with various issues over the international break.
Emery will remain without long-term absentees Danny Welbeck, Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin, but Sokratis Papastathopoulos should be fit to play meaning Arsenal could remain unchanged from the side which beat Man Utd before the international break.
For Newcastle, Fabian Schar is suspended while Robert Elliot and Sean Longstaff are still injured. Jamaal Lascelles is doubtful for this game.
Predicted Arsenal XI: Leno; Sokratis, Koscielny, Monreal; Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Ramsey, Kolasinac; Ozil, Lacazette, Aubameyang
Predicted Newcastle XI: Dubravka; Yedlin, Lejeune, Fernandez, Dummett; Ritchie, Diame, Hayden; Perez; Almiron, Rondon
There’s no doubting that Newcastle have been far better since the arrival of Almiron, who has unlocked the talents of Perez and Rondon, and that may well make them dark horses for a top-half finish next season.
However, in the here and now, it’s tough to see them overcoming an in-form Arsenal side, especially given that the Gunners are experts in shooting down Magpies.
Arsenal 3-1 Newcastle