Match Preview: Arsenal v Newcastle

Venue: Emirates Stadium
Date: Saturday, 30 August Kick-off: 1730 BST

Arsenal enter the match against Newcastle on a high after a morale boosting win against FC Twente with goalscorers Gallas, Nasri and Walcott all passed fit to face the Magpies.

Cesc Fabregas should make his first league start of the season while manager Arsene Wenger has said he will rotate the side to the one which played midweek meaning Denilson, Walcott, Bendtner and Djourou are likely to drop to the bench. This will allow Song and Eboue to be brought back into midfield and Toure will take his place in defence with captain William Gallas. Adebayor will be looking to resume his so far fruitless partnership with Robin Van Persie.

Arsenal Likely Line Up (4-4-2)

Subs from: Fabianski, Djourou, Gibbs, Denilson, Ramsey, Wilshere, Bendtner, Vela

Newcastle may bring back bad boy Joey Barton and Michael Owen may start, while James Milner leaves an already small Newcastle side. Geremi, Obafemi Martins, Mark Viduka, Damien Duff, Claudio Cacapa and Andy Carroll are all sidelined.

Newcastle Likely Line Up (4-5-1)

Given,

Beye – Taylor – Coloccini – Enrique,

Gutierrez – Butt – Guthrie – N’Zogbia,

Smith

Owen.

Subs from: Harper, Bassong, Tozer, Edgar, Barton, Donaldson, Ranger.

Tactics Board

Newcastle don’t really have much to call upon so will be hoping no-one picks up any injuries as Barton and Bassong are their only senior alternatives. Expect them to put out a 4-5-1 formation with Smith playing behind Owen. The Magpies will be looking to squeeze Arsenal from playing by pressing and closing down hard. They will try and counter with the wingers Gutierrez and N’Zogbia while the central midfielders try and stop Cesc Fabregas from dictating. Owen will try and get behind the defence frequently and catch the high backline of Arsneal out.

Arsenal will be hoping their superior technical ability and movement will be too much for Newcastle therefore looking to get their balance as quick as possible. Song will look to allow Fabregas to play and create for the front men. If Adebayor can get the service, Arsenal can put Newcastle away but if the Magpies can get an early goal then they would believe they can win it. Either way expect a tight match.

Key Batttle: Butt vs Fabregas– The veteran midfielder will try as much as he can to stop the Spanish playmaker from controlling the game and keep his midfield together. Butt knows Fabregas can win a match with one pass therefore if he gives him one inch Newcastle could be punished.

Prediction: Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle United

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