Arsenal signed off in style on New Year’s Eve when they blitzed Brighton 4-2 on the south coast and with a seven-point lead established at the summit of the Premier League, the Gunners should be motivated and full of running again when they host Newcastle today.
The Magpies couldn’t make their chances count in a disappointing 0-0 draw with Leeds before the turn of the year and with Manchester United breathing down their necks, they need to extract something from their trip to The Emirates Stadium to keep hold of third spot.
I’ve got another Premier League stats pack for your punting pleasure below which features key info from both Arsenal and Newcastle’s domestic campaigns to date. Use my research to add quality to your coupons, and as always, use my Stats Pack Guide if you need some guidance.
With Gabriel Jesus still in the treatment room, Arsenal’s XI pretty much picks itself today, unless Mikel Arteta plumps for some rotation to keep his troops in peak condition.
Oleksandr Zinchenko reclaimed his spot at left back ahead of Kieran Tierney against Brighton and the fit-again Ukrainian could be handed a starting role again today.
Newcastle will still be without Alexander Isak, Jonjo Shelvey, Matt Targett, Emil Krafth and Paul Dummett for their trip to the capital, so expect to see a similar Magpies XI to the one that faced Leeds 72 hours ago.
Callum Wilson could be restored to the line-up having been named on the bench last time out, however. Allan Saint-Maximin will also be hoping to nudge his way back into Eddie Howe’s thinking.
Arsenal are moving closer and closer to even-money odds in the Premier League outright markets, and for good reason. Alongside holding a sizable seven-point gap at the table’s summit, the Gunners are performing brilliantly across a myriad of different metrics.
In attack, they have been lodging 2.50 goals from an xG of 2.02 per 90, while their shots stats (15.70 p/90) are among the division’s best. Defensively, only Man City have been allowing opponents to rack up more attempts on target.
Interestingly, Arsenal rank seventh-last in the Premier League for corners won this term, so avoid that particular set piece in the markets where the Gunners are concerned.
Newcastle have been measuring up well to most other leading performers in the Premier League this season across a number of stats and only Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal have been drumming up more attempts than the Magpies per 90.
Eddie Howe’s influence has contributed to a marked improvement across the board at Newcastle and they currently hold the best defensive record in the division ahead of Arsenal.
The Magpies also tend to be reliable corner clockers – they won 14 of them in their previous two Premier League fixtures and can be backed at 4/7 to beat a modest target of over 3.5 corners at The Emirates this evening.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka have all excelled for Arsenal in the final third this season as evidenced by their formidable figures in both shooting metrics, though Martinelli was the star performer against Brighton with five attempts.
The rapid Brazilian is available at a tempting 4/6 to clock at least three attempts against Newcastle later on.
Martin Odegaard meanwhile, is becoming an increasingly potent force in front of goal and the Norwegian schemer looks a steal at 5/6 to register at least one attempt on target today. The 24-year-old has hit the target with shots three times in his last trio of league runouts for the Gunners.
Callum Wilson brings plenty of cutting edge to the Newcastle frontline and having been rested for the majority of the Magpies’ draw with Leeds a couple of days ago, the 30-year-old should be buzzing with energy today.
At 4/9 to hit at least one attempt on target, Wilson looks like a useful coupon padder, while Miguel Almiron – who is playing the best football of his career – should turn plenty of heads at 4/7 in the same market. Both players were a nuisance for Arsenal when Newcastle beat the Gunners 2-0 in May.
Player Goals and Assists
Arsenal’s front four were in irresistible form again in the Gunners’ thumping 4-2 win at Brighton on Saturday, where Bukaya Sako, Martin Odegaard, Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli all managed to bolster their tallies for the campaign.
Norwegian Odegaard has found another level since the campaign’s resumption and having collected four goal contributions in two appearances, the ex-Real Madrid starlet stands out at 7/5 to finish today’s game with either a goal or assist again.
Martinelli and Saka found the net when Arsenal last hosted Newcastle in November last year and both players carry interesting-looking prices at 12/5 to register anytime again today.
Miguel Almiron remains Newcastle’s leading marksman this term and his ability to exploit space on the counter could make him a threat at The Emirates. Five of the Paraguayan’s nine league goals for the Magpies have come on the road and the 28-year-old is a big price at 9/2 to make his mark again this evening.
Kieron Tripper might be a useful addition in the assist markets. The England man has four assists in the bank already and he played a sizable six key passes against Leeds on Saturday.
Arsenal have been averaging a strong 57% possession per game in the Premier League this season, though that average jumps to 60.7% when home games are isolated, so expect the Gunners to call the shots today.
In Arsenal’s last league assignment at The Emirates against West Ham, both centre-halves, Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba, pushed through the 90-passes barrier, while holding midfielder Thomas Partey was their next-best performer with 78.
The participants of that central axis play a big part in Arsenal’s possession rotation and member of that trio should be worth their salt in the pass markets later on.
Newcastle rank all the way down in 13th for average possession held per away game in the Premier League since August and a counter-punching approach should be adopted by Eddie Howe’s men again against Arsenal.
Like the Gunners, defensive players dominate the individual passing metrics for the Magpies, with right-back Kieran Tripper seeing more of the ball than his buddies in the backline overall. The 32-year-old’s passes per game figures drop around 10% in Newcastle’s away fixtures however, which should be taken as a note of caution.
Gabriel Magalhaes and Thomas Partey collected their third and second Premier League cautions of the campaign in Arsenal’s last test at Brighton, and both players could be worth tracking in the card market again today, especially when you weigh up the tricky opponents they might have to mark. More on that in the next section.
Elsewhere, Ben White could have his hands full when he goes head-to-head with physical Brazilian powerhouse Joelinton out towards the Magpies’ left flank. White usually handles pace and trickery pretty well, though Joelinton’s strength could pose him different problems.
Callum Wilson has gathered a wealth of experience from his time playing in three different tiers of the English football pyramid and the 30-year-old striker has a skillset that could fluster Gabriel Magalhaes today.
To Magalhaes’ left, Joelinton will be eager to torment Ben White in a clash that could draw intervention from referee Andrew Madley. In midfield, influential schemer Bruno Guimaraes is building up quite a collection of bruises for Newcastle and his lower limbs could be tenderised again later on by the aggressive Thomas Partey.
Match-Ups to watch
Gabriel Magalhaes vs Callum Wilson
Ben White vs Joelinton
Thomas Partey vs Bruno Guimaraes
Newcastle might have to dig deep into their bag of dark arts to knock some of the pep out of Arsenal’s step this evening. Kieran Tripper cannot match Martinelli for pace and some cynicism might be required to tame the Brazilian winger.
Similarly, Fabian Schar (four bookings) will need to hit Eddie Nketiah hard and early to stop him breaking in behind. In midfield, Sean Longstaff offers the Magpies an edge and the 25-year-old will need to be sharp to track Martin Odegaard.
Unsurprisingly, the fleet-footed trio of Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka are among Arsenal’s most-fouled players this term, though Nketiah and Martinelli seem more likely to be hacked at than Saka when they face card-collecting duo, Tripper (11/2) and Schar (7/2), today.
Martin Odegaard’s name is a glaring omission from my rundown of most-fouled Gunners players, though the Norwegian’s scintillating form won’t have gone unnoticed at Newcastle and he should be shadowed closely by Longstaff today. The marauding Magpies midfielder is priced at 4/1 to be carded at The Emirates Stadium.
Match-Ups to watch
Kieran Tripper vs Gabriel Martinelli
Fabian Schar vs Eddie Nketiah
Sean Longstaff vs Martin Odegaard