Arsenal face Newcastle United in their weekend fixture of the Premier League after 2 frustrating draws away from home. The side failed to break the deadlock and come away with the win against the Hammers on Wednesday even with their 15 attempts on goal with the majority of the possession. They have fallen to the 7th spot of the points table behind Burnley after their last result and are eager to not drop any more points against the Magpies at home.
Arsene Wenger rotated the squad to a certain extent although he could not leave out his key players from the starting line-up. Fatigue is definitely a factor in this close-knit schedule in the month of December and managers always have to select their players carefully to prevent injury.
Even with the side desperate for a win, Wenger might choose to field the same squad for the match. He can change his formation from the last game and go back to the back 3 setup he has utilised for the majority of the season. The predicted formation for the game is 3-4-3.
Petr Cech is still the first choice under Wenger in the Premier League and is expected to get the nod again for this fixture.
The manager confirmed that Mustafi will be fit before this match as he is expected to take up one of the back 3 positions alongside Per Mertesacker and Rob Holding. Koscielny can be expected to be given a breather by the manager, after 10 consecutive appearances.
There is a high probability that Hector Bellerin might find himself on the bench in this match and Jeff-Reine Adelaide be positioned in his place on the right wing.
Sead Kolasinac is expected to return to the lineup after being benched for the last match and resume his duties down the left-hand side.
Jack Wilshere was impressive for the Gunners in the last fixture and might just start again on the weekend alongside Francis Coquelin.
Both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil displayed signs of major fatigue in the later stages of the match against the Hammers. They can look forward to a well-deserved rest in the first half, although their services might be called up if starters fail to perform.
Danny Welbeck started the season from the left flank position and he is expected to return to that same position with Olivier Giroud up top as the lone striker. Alexandre Lacazette could appear from the right-hand side and combine with Giroud as a dual attacking threat against Benitez’s side.
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