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Match Preview – Arsenal vs Newcastle United: Howe to travel with squad after positive Covid-19 result kept him out of first game in charge

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Credit: @Arsenal instagram... The Gunners face Newcastle United at the Emirates in the early kick-off on Saturday...

Eddie Howe is set to be in the dugout for the first time as the winless Magpies travel to the Emirates on Saturday.

Howe’s side will hope to come out of the blocks quickly in North-London after their disappointing 3-3 draw with Brentford last time out. 

The Magpies are the only team in the top four English divisions yet to pick up a victory this season. Their woeful start to the 2021/22 Premier League season has left them rock bottom and five points from safety.

A troubling Christmas period is incoming.

However, the team from Tyneside have outscored their opponents Arsenal who have only netted 13 goals in the league so far and come into the game after shipping 4 goals in their disappointing away trip to Anfield last weekend. 

Credit: @NUFC instagram – Eddie Howe set to be in the dugout for the first time as Newcastle boss

Howe’s side have been free scoring in front of goal at times this campaign and carry a substantial attacking threat with the exciting Allan Saint-Maximin in fine form.

Top scorer Callum Wilson has shown his worth by scoring important goals in his time at Newcastle but will hope to have more of an effect on this fixture than last time out at home to Brentford. The defensive troubles continued at St James Park and have left a lot of fans worried about the real threat of relegation.

With the January transfer window still eight games away, performances need to improve quickly but the potential for points tomorrow afternoon looks unlikely as Arsenal hope to bounce back from their 4-0 defeat to Liverpool.

Arsenal have won the last six meetings between the two sides without conceding a goal as the Magpies have struggled at the Emirates, not finding the back of the net since 2014.

The Gunners currently sit in 5th position and are in good form following their lacklustre start to the season. They have won six of their twelve games and seem to have found their groove under Mikel Arteta.

The home side’s 10-game unbeaten run came to an end last time out after their humbling defeat to Klopp’s Liverpool.

Perhaps there is still a long way to go for this youthful Arsenal team but their fans have been treated to a decent run at home this campaign, as their side boast the join-best record alongside Manchester City and Chelsea.

They sit three points behind West Ham United in fourth and will hope to get back to winning ways to help bolster their chances of a European Place come the end of the season.

The lunchtime battle promises to be as intriguing as ever but with the form of goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale and Newcastle’s torrid record against the Gunners, many pundits have backed the home side to get the win in this one.

Arsenal have never lost a Premier League home game against the side starting the day bottom of the table (W15 D6), winning the last eight in a row by an aggregate score of 23-2.

Form

NUFC – L L D L D D 

AFC – D D W W W L

Team News

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has no new selection problems ahead of Saturday’s Premier League fixture with bottom of the table Newcastle.

Midfielder Granit Xhaka is still unavailable but the Gunners have been boosted by news he could be back before the end of the year after his ongoing recovery from a knee ligament injury.

Sead Kolasinac is still missing with an ankle problem that picked up on international duty earlier in November. 

Newcastle striker Dwight Gayle is a doubt for the trip to London with a hamstring injury. Gayle is to be assessed after resuming light training on Thursday – he has hardly featured this season. 

Paul Dummett (calf) remains on the sidelines but his return should’t be too far away.

Eddie Howe will be in the dugout at the Emirates after returning a negative Covid-19 test and faces a selection dilemma at the back. There’s increasing pressure to restore ‘keeper Martin Dubravka follwoing his return from a foot injury.

Stand-in goalkeeper Karl Darlow had a tough afternoon last time out in the end-to-end 3-3 draw with Brentford. 

Before Howe took over, Newcastle had averaged just 6.5 shots per game in their last five league games with an xG of 0.57. These figures shot up in the first game under their new manager as the Magpies recored 23 shots and a 1.76xG.

The away side are likely to set up with added attacking impetus against the Gunners as they try to get on the front foot and search for their first win.

The appalling defensive record leaves Newcastle in a challenging position and although it was an encouraging start to their new era, this one promises to be a tough proposition. 

Potential Line-ups

NUFC – 3-4-3

Dubravka (GK)

Clark (LCB), Lascelles (CB), Schar (RCB)

Ritchie (LWB), Shelvey (CM), WIllock (CM), Murphy (RWB)

Saint-Maximin (LW), Wilson (ST), Joelinton (RW)

Arsenal – 4-4-1-1

Ramsdale (GK)

Taveres (LB), Gabriel (LCB), White (RCB), Tomiyasu (RB)

Smith Rowe (LM), Lokonga (CM), Thomas (CM), Saka (RM)

Lacazette (CF)

Aubameyang (ST)

Pre-match thoughts? Can Newcastle get their first win of the season? Are you happy with the appointment of Eddie Howe? Who is excited to see him in the dugout for the first time?

Join in the conversation and have your say.

More to follow…

News

Police Alerted After Newcastle United Fan Urinates On Statue Devoted to Sunderland Legend

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Police have been alerted about social media footage which appears to show a Newcastle United fan urinating on a statue of Sunderland football legend Bob Stokoe.

The tribute, outside Sunderland’s Stadium of Light ground, recreates the late Stokoe’s famous dance across Wembley’s turf after he had masterminded the club’s 1-0 FA Cup final victory over Leeds United.

Footage has now emerged on social media of a male wearing a Newcastle United change shirt while apparently urinating on the statue.

In response to the images, a Sunderland Football Club spokesperson said on Monday: “This matter has been referred to the police and we will not be making any further comment at this moment in time.”

Stokoe, ironically, is also a hero and an FA Cup winner on Tyneside. Born in 1930 in Mickley, in Northumberland, the central defender made 261 appearances for Newcastle United and was a member of their 1955 FA Cup final winning team.

Arriving at Sunderland in November 1972 while they were struggling towards the bottom of Division Two, he plotted the club’s FA Cup final triumph in May the following year before guiding the Black Cats back to the top flight in 1976.

He resigned just months later following a poor start to their Division One. Stokoe died at the age of 73 in 2004 in Hartlepool after suffering from pneumonia.

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News

Newcastle Fan Gets ‘Attacked’ by Aiden McGeady in Bar With Sunderland First Team

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A video was published to Twitter which shows a Newcastle fan get ‘attacked’ by Aiden McGeady in a bar with the Sunderland first team.

Twitter user @rheppellhardy, who has since deleted his account following backlash, wrote a tweet on Wednesday night explaining what happened in a Stack venue, before the post started to gain traction.

He said: “Why the fuck has the actual Sunderland first team come and started on me and big Premier League Aiden McGeady ripped me top in the stack 🤣🤣🤣.

 

He issued the above video before captioning it with: “Someone who I’ve never heard of said how much are yous on ur skint 🤣 league 1 yina”

Again he wrote in another post: “Scuse me mate can a have a word, do you know who I am” 🤣🤣 No fucking clue mate”

There were plenty of reaction tweets too….

@worthy_noah: “I remember my first pint aswell mate”

@worthy_noah: “Not sure I went on like this much of a cock like”

@MackemTalk_: “You saw the state of you lad he’d Snap you in half But again You had to act like the Big man Because Your boyfriends where with you”

Did you see what happened?

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Fans urged to clap at Newcastle match in memory of teen

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Mason Kirk (Credit: Family Picture)

Fans are being encouraged to clap at Newcastle match on Saturday in memory of teen who died from cancer.

Mason Kirk passed away suddenly from a rare form of cancer in January – ITV reports.

The family of the 17-year-old are urging people to clap at the 17th minute of the Newcastle vs Brighton match.

His dad Michael told ITV News Tyne Tees: “After complaining about back pain for several weeks and unsuccessful trips to a walk-in centre, and his GP, I took him to A&E where he received an MRI scan that showed lesions in his spine.

“We were transferred to the RVI, which is where we received a diagnosis no parent wants to hear – aggressive and inoperable late-stage ATRT cancer in his spine and brainstem”

“Mason died on the 27 January, just nine days after he was diagnosed.

“It’s took awhile for me to pull myself round (as I suffer from severe mental illness). So I decided to begin organising something to raise awareness of ATRT and teen cancer, and to pay tribute to our beautiful brave son.

“Mason was an avid Newcastle United fan, I took him to his first game when he was 6 and he caught the NUFC bug. Later, he and his friends bought season tickets.”

Michael continues: “Mason’s memory will live on through myself, his Mam Leanne, his little brother Alfy, cousin Liam and the rest of our family.

“He was the nucleus of our lives…our world is shattered but we cannot let our courageous son’s story go untold.”

“We realise things are tight for a lot of us at the minute but we’d like any donations to go to Great North Children’s Hospital or the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.”

ITV also said that Mason will feature in the programme.

Go here to donate to Great North Children’s Hospital.

Or to donate to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation go here.

 

 

 

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