Pre-Match Report

Preview: Arsenal v Newcastle United

Arsenal v Newcastle United

We kick off the new year with a top-of-the-table clash against Newcastle United, who are looking to do what no other team has yet to achieve in the league this season - beat us at Emirates Stadium.

We could potentially clinch an eighth-straight home win at the start of a campaign for the first time in our history against a side who haven’t taken three points from their visits to N5 since 2010, have lost in each of their past 11 visits and haven't scored away from home against us since 2014.

However, this is a very different proposition to Newcastle teams of the past, with Eddie Howe’s outfit heading to the capital looking to break a club record by going 13 top-flight games unbeaten for the first time ever.

Magpies soaring into 2023

Miguel Almiron celebrates scoring for Newcastle United

The transformation since Newcastle’s takeover and the subsequent appointment of Howe towards the end of 2021 has been breathtaking. Having won none of their first 14 games last term, the newly-appointed boss turned his side’s fortunes around by winning 12 of the final 18 matches of the campaign to take his team to 11th.

They have maintained that form this term, starting the campaign with one win, five draws and their solitary defeat so far - a controversial stoppage-time loss at Liverpool - coming from their opening eight games.

But since October, they have won nine of their 11 league matches as well as progressing to the Carabao Cup quarter-finals, spearheaded by the goals of the red-hot Miguel Almiron. Having entered the World Cup break in third place, a 3-0 victory at Leicester City was followed by goalless draw at home to Leeds United on New Year's Eve, ending a six-match winning run.

What to expect

Kieran Trippier shoots towards goal for Newcastle

Michael Cox, writing in the official matchday programme: Howe has created one of the most cohesive sides in the Premier League, packed with technical quality and clever combination play across the pitch. His side increasingly press well high up, too.

Howe exclusively uses a 4-3-3 formation. A great shot-stopper, Nick Pope has improved his distribution over the course of the season, while in front of him, Sven Botman has been impressive at the back alongside Fabian Schar.

Kieran Trippier has been outstanding at right-back, not merely with his crossing and set-pieces, but also his long-range passing in behind for runners. On the left, Dan Burn plays a more cautious role, although overlaps energetically at times.

Bruno Guimaraes can break up play and build attacks, but he’s also capable of playing quick one-twos to push forward. Sean Longstaff fills in when Guimaraes pushes on, while the left-sided attacking midfielder is given more freedom - usually Joe Willock, or Joelinton. On the right, Almiron’s rise can partly be attributed to Trippier’s arrival, allowing him licence to cut inside.

What the managers say

Eddie Howe greets Mikel Arteta

Arteta on Newcastle: "They are a very good team, really well coached. I think what Eddie has done in a short period of time and you look at the numbers it’s incredible, so big credit to him and the coaching staff.

"They have created a belief and momentum around the team that they play the same way against any opponents. It is going to be another big test, but we will play at home in front of our crowd, and I’m looking forward to it." - read everything from Mikel's pre-match press conference

Howe: “I think it’ll be a fascinating, high-level game that’s going to be a really good examination of how far we’ve come. Mikel’s done an incredible job and I’m sure our players will relish going against them at their stadium.

“I’ve watched a lot of them this year and been hugely impressed. Hopefully, we’ll learn some more about ourselves, and how far on we are in our journey.”

Team news

Emile Smith Rowe

Gabriel Jesus (knee) and Reiss Nelson (hamstring) all remain out, while Emile Smith Rowe has returned to training following his groin injury.

Club record signing Alexander Isak has been missing since picking up a thigh injury on international duty in September, but has returned to training.

Jonjo Shelvey’s ongoing calf issues means he is likely to be out until February, while Emile Krafth is a long-term casualty with a knee injury. Matt Target has also recently hurt a heel and is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Facts and stats

Callum Wilson celebrates scoring for Newcastle United

We have won our last 11 home games against Newcastle in all competitions – only against Stoke (an ongoing run since 1983) have we ever won more consecutive home matches (16).

After beating us 2-0 at St James’ Park in May, the Magpies are looking to win consecutive league games against us for the first time since January 1996.

Newcastle have won their last two Premier League games in London, last winning more consecutively in the capital between May 2013 and January 2014 (4).

We have kept 28 clean sheets against Newcastle in the Premier League – only Manchester United (29 against Tottenham) have recorded more against a specific opponent in the competition.

Newcastle have won their first league game in just one of the last 10 calendar years (D2 L7), beating Stoke City 1-0 in 2018.

Callum Wilson has scored six goals in eight Premier League games in London with the Magpies, only failing to score at the Emirates against Arsenal (2 games).

Eddie Nketiah has scored in his last three home Premier League starts, netting four goals, and has scored 11 in his last 11 starts at the Emirates in all competitions, from just 16 shots on target.

Howe has lost all six of his away Premier League matches against us (five defeats with Bournemouth, one with Newcastle) by an aggregate score of 16-2.

Match officials

Andrew Madley

It is a third Gunners appointment for Andrew Madley, who takes charge of us for the first time since overseeing our 1-0 win at Aston Villa back in March. His only other fixture involving us was a 2-1 League Cup win over Norwich City back in 2017/18.

He has overseen 11 Premier League games so far this season, with his first game following the World Cup seeing him dish out his first red cards of the campaign as he sent off two Crystal Palace players in their defeat to Fulham, before booking seven players as Manchester City drew with Everton on New Year's Eve.

  • Referee: Andrew Madley
  • Assistant Referee 1: Lee Betts
  • Assistant Referee 2: Ian Hussin
  • Fourth Official: Jarred Gillett
  • VAR: Stuart Attwell
  • Additional VAR: Wade Smith

Recent meetings at the Emirates

We have won all of our last 11 meetings with Newcastle on home turf, with the latest coming back in November 2021 when goals from Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli sealed a 2-0 win in Howe’s first game in the dugout.

Earlier that year, we also won 2-0 in the FA Cup despite needing extra-time, before Saka was on target again a few weeks later as we notched three without reply.

We went one better in 2019/20, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette all getting on the scoresheet in a 4-0 triumph.

See the best of these games, plus some wondergoals and the 7-3 win from 2012, in our playlist of classic action.

Breakdown Live

Breakdown Live

Tune into and the official app from 6.45pm for all the best pre-match build-up with our matchday show!

Nicole Holliday and Adrian Clarke are on hosting duties at Emirates Stadium, and they'll be joined by England cricketer Ollie Pope, look back at the best of the action from our victory over Brighton on New Year's Eve, and analyse where we can secure another home win against the Magpies.

Then from kick-off, Dan Roebuck and David Hillier will be on commentary duty, keeping you informed on everything occurring on the field.

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