Ahead of Saturday’s match, Arsene Wenger has spoken passionately about the loss of Pavel Srnicek.

The Arsenal boss says he is ‘very sad’ for somebody so young to have lost their life and expresses his condolences to Pavel’s family.

Wenger talked of ‘good memories of Pavel’ with the Newcastle keeper having played a number of times against Arsenal in the Premier League.

As for the current Newcastle United, Arsene Wenger thinks they had a difficult start to the season and lacked confidence, though he believes that it is easier for the team to play away from home rather than at St James Park.

The Gunners boss thinks Newcastle should be doing better with the players that are in the squad, with Wenger pinpointing Wijnaldum and Sissoko in midfield, as well as Perez, Cisse and Mitrovic as options up front.

Arsene Wenger speaking to arsenal.com about Pavel Srnicek:

“He (Pavel Srnicek) played against us and it’s very sad news.

“I heard one week ago that he was out for a jog and was found 20 minutes later. It’s very, very sad news.

“I’m very sad because he was only 47 years old, was still involved in football as a goalkeeping coach, so I express my condolences to his family.

“We have good memories of Pavel here in England because he played in the Premier League.”

Wenger on Newcastle United this season:

 “They had a difficult start and they lacked a little bit of confidence, that always shows at home more than away from home. Away from home they have had quite good results and performances.

“If you look at their squad, they have good players in all areas, up front they have Cisse, Mitrovic, Perez.

“In the middle of the park they have players like Sissoko and Wijnaldum who can make a difference as well, so they are a dangerous team to play at home.”