Arsenal will try to come back from last weekend’s heavy defeat against Liverpool when they host Newcastle in the first match of the Premier League weekend.
It’s been an up-and-down season to date for the Gunners. After losing their initial three matches, they enjoyed a long unbeaten run before being unbeaten against a fierce Liverpool team last weekend.
Nevertheless, they are still very much in European battle and even a place in the top four is not out of sight as things look.
Changes are likely to be made to the team that bowed out 4-0 last weekend.
The most important of the changes that manager Mikel Arteta is likely to make is Martin Odegaard’s return to the No. 10 role in place of Alexandre Lacazette. However, the Norwegian has yet to find his best level this season and was on the bench last weekend after an injury problem.
Similarly, Kieran Tierney should return to the left-back role after being benched due to an issue he took up on international service. The return of the Scots would be a great boost in the rear force.
Granit Xhaka remains out injured in midfield, which will lead to a three-way battle to play alongside Thomas Partey. Albert Sambi is in possession of the jersey, but after a disappointing performance at Anfield, both Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mohamed Elneny have to compete for the jersey.
Otherwise, the Gunners’ start XI for this match should be relatively predictable, with Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe seeking to deliver the ammunition to striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Arsenal have won six of their last seven at home, drawing the second and they will expect to be too good for Newcastle at the bottom of the table.
Possible Arsenal start XI v Newcastle