The Gunners’ top-four plans have hit a rocky patch, with poor results contributing to a tumble down the league table
Arsenal will hope to climb back up the table with a win when they host Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Gunners could only draw against London rivals West Ham during the week, a result which saw them slip to seventh and extended their winless run in the Premier League to three games.
Newcastle are enduring a terrible run of form, without a win in their last eight games – seven of which were defeats – and they are in danger of being sucked in to a relegation battle.
|Game||Arsenal vs Newcastle United|
|Date||Saturday, December 16|
|Time||15:00 GMT / 10:00 ET|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
The game is not being shown live in the United Kingdom because it falls within the Saturday ‘blackout’ period, but highlights will be available to watch on BBC.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
In the United States (US), the Premier League can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
|Goalkeepers||Cech, Ospina, Macey, Iliev|
|Defenders||Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Holding, Mustafi, Monreal, Chambers, Bellerin, Kolasinac|
|Midfielders||Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil, Iwobi, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles, Coquelin, Elneny, Sheaf, Willock, Dragomir, Gilmour, McGuane, Reine-Adelaide|
|Forwards||Sanchez, Lacazette, Giroud, Welbeck, Akpom, Nketiah, Dasilva, Nelson|
Shkodran Mustafi has resumed training but Arsene Wenger is unsure whether to take a risk by using the Germany international for the game.
Aaron Ramsey is out of action for up to three weeks so will not be available, while Theo Walcott is nursing a groin injury and will not be risked.
Santi Cazorla, meanwhile, is a long-term absentee as he endured another setback in his foot injury.
Potential Arsenal starting XI: Cech; Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal; Bellerin, Xhaka, Wilshere, Kolasinac; Ozil, Sanchez, Lacazette.
|Goalkeepers||Elliot, Darlow, Woodman|
|Defenders||Clark, Dummett, Lascelles, Mbemba, Manquillo, Lejeune, Yedlin, Haidara, Gamez, Sterry|
|Midfielders||Colback, Murphy, Diame, Ritchie, Shelvey, Hayden, Merino, Aarons, Saivet, Atsu, Barlaser|
|Forwards||Gayle, Ayoze, Joselu, Mitrovic|
Newcastle currently have no injury worries coming into the game, but they will be without Jonjo Shelvey, who is suspended after receiving a red card against Everton during the week.
Potential Newcastle starting XI: Darlow; Manquillo, Lascelles, Clark, Yedlin; Ritchie, Merino, Hayden, Murphy; Gayle, Joselu.
BETTING & MATCH ODDS
Arsenal are 1/4 favourites according to dabblebet, with Newcastle priced at 10/1 to win. A draw between the sides at the Emirates is considered a 5/1 bet.
Alexandre Lacazette is the Gunners’ top scorer and he is 9/4 to score first, while Magpies forward Dwight Gayle is 10/1.
Arsenal were left with a familiar sense of frustration after they were held to a scoreless draw against West Ham on Wednesday and questions have once again been raised around the suitability of Wenger to continue steering the fortunes of the north London club.
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The result saw the Gunners tumble down to seventh in the Premier League and, while they are just a point removed from fourth, the pressure is once again mounting on the long-serving manager.
With a League Cup quarter-final against West Ham as well as games against Liverpool and Chelsea to play in the coming weeks, it will be vital to kick-start a recovery at home to Newcastle on Saturday.
Rafa Benitez’s side may be hurtling on a downward trajectory, but, as they look up at Burnley, Liverpool and Tottenham, the Gunners cannot take anything for granted against a team desperately trying to prevent themselves from being dragged into a relegation scrap.