Predicted Newcastle team v Arsenal
Saturday 13 December 5.30pm Live On SKY Sports
This afternoon sees sixth playing seventh, with United guaranteed to be top six going into the derby match IF they can beat Arsenal.
As usual, the Arsenal fans start having a go at Arsene Wenger because they are only sixth and through to the last sixteen of the Champions League.
More astonishingly, the media usually see this as a reasoned debate as to whether Wenger’s time is up, whereas when Newcastle fans questioned Alan Pardew’s position after only five Premier League wins in ten months the Newcastle fanbase is generally dismissed as an unforgiving rabble…
Happily though, we are currently discussing what Newcastle could potentially achieve this season, particularly if they can negotiate a tough looking December.
This match has been billed as a bit of a clash of the walking wounded, with both clubs missing double figures.
Maybe the key areas will be those where injury has least affected either team.
Arsenal have players such as Sanchez, Welbeck and Giroud to threaten up front, while on the black and white side of things, a more or less first choice back four of Janmaat, Coloccini, Dummett and Haidara looks likely to be on show. The big variable though for Newcastle is how Jak Alnwick stands up to scrutiny on his first start in the Premier League.
With so many home midfielders injured it could have been perfect for Moussa Sissoko to exploit and hopefully Newcastle will not miss him too much, the likely Colback/Tiote partnership will need to win their battles if United are to get a decent foothold to build from.
While Arsenal are missing some very talented players, the big advantage they will have is when it comes to making any substitutions, with United feeling the strain perhaps more there than in the first eleven.
To a large extent the team probably picks itself and that was shown in the team chosen by Newcastle fans via our pre-match poll.
I can see Alan Pardew making two big calls.
Despite the manager voicing concerns about Papiss Cisse’s knee, I fancy the Senegal striker to start and build on the promise his partnership with Ayoze Perez showed in that second half against Chelsea.
The other big decision will likely mean Pardew going for Gouffran ahead of Cabella in a supposedly safety first policy, though not many fans would make that choice.
Predicted starting 11;
See all the Arsenal v Newcastle betting HERE
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