Before every Arsenal fixture, we’ll bring you a Scouting Report on the Gunners’ next opponents.

Former Arsenal midfielder Stewart Robson will give his pre-match view and you can get his post-match verdict in our Talking Tactics feature on Arsenal Player. We’ll also hear from a local journalist who follows the club we’ll be facing.

Stewart Robson

Alan Pardew will have mixed views on how he should tactically approach this game. In last season's fixture they were torn apart by Arsenal's passing and movement when they allowed Arsenal time on the ball. But having gone 4-0 down Pardew then decided to cross the ball at every opportunity, playing a higher pressing game and increase the tempo.

His dilemma on Saturday will be whether to press Arsenal all around the pitch which could make them susceptible to Arsenal's excellent counter-attacking or play a less dynamic game while trying to remain compact in midfield and in the defensive areas.

Scouting Report - Tactics

Newcastle have had a difficult pre-season. We lost Hatem Ben Arfa, Danny Guthrie and Shane Ferguson to injury so the emphasis was instantly on the new boys. We have signed Demba Ba from West Ham, Yohan Cabaye from Lille, Sylvain Marveaux from Rennes and Gabriel Obertan from Manchester United.

Like a lot of teams, the formation over pre-season has varied. On Saturday against Fiorentina, we started 4-4-1-1 but in the second half we set up in a 4-4-2 with Shola Ameobi and Ba up front. For me, that is how we could line up in the Premier League against Arsenal. The fact that Ben Arfa is going to miss the start of the season is quite a big thing because, if he had been fit, you would have seen him in the hole with Ba or Ameobi in front of him.

The idea is to take the game to the opposition. There is a lot of emphasis on passing and movement, especially in midfield, and you will see a lot of the full-backs bombing on. Rather than sitting back, absorbing pressure and hitting teams on the break they will move forward when and where possible.

I think that the midfield is an area where they will feel they can control the game. Cabaye is a massive factor in that because he really tries to take responsibility. It will be an intriguing battle in the middle of the park. Dan Gosling is back and he has been looking really good in training. There is also Cheik Tiote - who caused Arsenal a few problems last season.

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12 Aug 2011