Arsenal will be seeking to bounce back from last weekend’s heavy defeat against Liverpool when they play host to Newcastle in the first match of the Premier League weekend.
It has been an up-and-down season to date for the Gunners. After losing their opening three fixtures they enjoyed a long undefeated run before becoming unseated against a rampant Liverpool side last weekend.
Nevertheless, they are still very much in European contention and even a place in the top four is not out of sight as things stand.
Changes are likely to be made to the team that succumbed 4-0 last weekend.
Foremost among the alterations that manager Mikel Arteta is likely to make is the return of Martin Odegaard to the No.10 role in place of Alexandre Lacazette. The Norwegian, however, is yet to find his best level this season and was on the bench last weekend after an injury issue.
Similarly, Kieran Tierney should return to the left-back role after being benched due to an issue that he picked up on international duty. The Scotsman’s return would be a big boost in the rearguard.
Granit Xhaka remains out injured in the midfield, which will lead to a three-way battle to play alongside Thomas Partey. Albert Sambi is the man in possession of the jersey, but after a disappointing performance at Anfield, both Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mohamed Elneny will be vying for the shirt.
Otherwise, the Gunners’ starting XI for this game should be relatively predictable, with Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe seeking to provide the ammunition for striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Arsenal have won six of their last seven at home, drawing the other, and they will expect to be too good for bottom-of-the-table Newcastle.