Unbeaten Arsenal face a serious test of their Premier League title credentials in Saturday’s late kick-off. We look ahead to the game with our Newcastle vs Arsenal prediction and preview.
Newcastle vs Arsenal: The Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer is siding with Arsenal for Saturday’s late game – but only just. The Gunners are given a 39.5% chance of victory, compared to Newcastle United’s 32.1%.
- Arsenal have kept 30 Premier League clean sheets against Newcastle, the most any side has kept against another in the competition’s history.
- Newcastle striker Callum Wilson is averaging a goal every 60 minutes in the Premier League this season, the best rate of any player to play at least 90 minutes in the competition. However, he has failed to score in his last nine league games against Arsenal.
Saturday’s Premier League action is headlined by a mouthwatering clash on Tyneside as Newcastle United host unbeaten Arsenal. While the Gunners will view a trip to St James’ Park as one of the sternest examinations of their title credentials, Eddie Howe’s squad is starting to be stretched as the Magpies attempt to compete on multiple fronts. The Newcastle manager will be delighted therefore that a much-changed side was able to overcome Manchester United at Old Trafford in the EFL Cup on Wednesday.
The overall picture still looks rosy for Newcastle, who enter Matchday 11 sixth in the Premier League table and unbeaten in six league outings (four wins, two draws). But a growing injury list could start to give Howe headaches.
Newcastle looked jaded during last week’s entertaining 2-2 draw with Wolves, twice being pegged back through goals from Mario Lemina and Hwang Hee-chan. Alexander Isak, Sven Botman, Elliot Anderson, Jacob Murphy and Harvey Barnes were all injured for that trip to Molineux – as well as Wednesday’s EFL Cup tie with Manchester United – and none of them are expected back this weekend, while Sandro Tonali has begun his 10-month ban for breaking Italian gambling regulations.
Though some have asked whether Newcastle’s UEFA Champions League commitments have started to take their toll, the Magpies have continued to impress in attack. As well as being the joint-highest scorers in the Premier League with 26 goals this term (alongside Aston Villa), Howe’s men boast the competition’s best shot conversion rate (18.6%) and second-highest expected goals (xG) total (22.1).
The form of Callum Wilson – who scored twice at Wolves – has been a huge reason for Newcastle’s potency, with the former Bournemouth man stepping up in Isak’s absence. Wilson is averaging a goal every 60 minutes in the Premier League this season (seven goals in 420 minutes), the best rate of any player to have played at least 90 minutes. However, after scoring in each of his first three league games against Arsenal, Wilson has failed to net in his last nine against the Gunners.
Wilson can always expect a good level of service, with Newcastle right-back Kieran Trippier creating 31 chances in the Premier League this season – a tally only matched by Tottenham star James Maddison. Only Wolves winger Pedro Neto (seven) has bettered Trippier’s return of six assists.
Howe even raised the prospect of former Everton winger Anthony Gordon competing for a number nine role earlier this week, and only eight players have recorded more chance-creating carries than Gordon’s 12 in the Premier League this campaign. Two of those carries have ended with a goal, a tally only matched by Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling and Brighton and Hove Albion’s Kaoru Mitoma.
The Newcastle frontline will face a difficult task on Saturday against an Arsenal defence which has conceded just eight Premier League goals this season – fewer than everyone bar Manchester City (seven). The Gunners have kept 30 clean sheets against Newcastle in the Premier League, the most one side has recorded against another in the competition’s history.
Mikel Arteta’s men managed a shutout in their most recent league match, but their returns at the other end of the pitch were more notable in a 5-0 rout of Sheffield United. Eddie Nketiah became the 22nd different player to score a Premier League hat-trick for the Gunners in that game – the most of any club in competition history – with Fábio Vieira and Takehiro Tomiyasu also on the scoresheet.
With Gabriel Jesus not expected to return from his latest injury lay-off until later this month, Nketiah could make his 100th Premier League appearance on Saturday. That would make him the 66th player to reach that milestone for Arsenal, and the striker will hope to become the first Gunner to net on his 100th Premier League appearance since Alexandre Lacazette did so in September 2020.
Arsenal’s only other selection issues concern long-term absentee Jurriën Timber, midfielder Thomas Partey, who will miss several weeks with a muscle problem, and Emile Smith-Rowe. Partey’s absence ensured Declan Rice did come off the bench against former club West Ham in midweek, although he could do nothing as Arsenal were dumped out of the EFL Cup by David Moyes’ side.
In what should be a closely contested affair, set-pieces might hold the key for Arteta. Arsenal have scored a league-high six goals from set-pieces (excluding penalties) this season, only conceding one such goal at the other end. Winger Bukayo Saka has two Premier League assists from dead-ball situations in 2023-24, a tally only matched by James Ward-Prowse, Trippier, Maddison and Neto.
Newcastle vs Arsenal Head-to-Head
Arsenal have had Newcastle’s number in the Premier League lately, winning eight of their last 10 games against the Magpies in the competition (one draw, one defeat).
Newcastle failed to score in eight of those contests, including both of the teams’ Premier League meetings last season.
They played out a fractious goalless draw at the Emirates Stadium in January before Arsenal triumphed 2-0 on their last trip to St James’ Park in May, with Martin Ødegaard scoring from range before Fabian Schär put through his own net from Gabriel Martinelli’s cross.
That was Arsenal’s 13th Premier League victory at St. James’ Park, and their eighth in their last 10 visits (two defeats). Overall, only Manchester United (14) have won more Premier League away games against Newcastle than the Gunners.
Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 11 Premier League games in a run stretching back to last season, posting eight wins and three draws since losing 1-0 at Nottingham Forest in May.
All three of Arsenal’s draws during that run have come by a 2-2 scoreline against fellow London clubs, with the Gunners only dropping points against Fulham, Tottenham and Chelsea so far in 2023-24.
Newcastle, meanwhile, have scored at least two goals in each of their last five Premier League matches. They could net multiple goals in six successive top-flight games for the first time since doing so between August and October 2004. Legendary manager Bobby Robson was sacked partway through that run, replaced by Graeme Souness.
The Magpies have been strong at home this season, winning six of their eight games at St. James’ across all competitions, with Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund the only visiting teams to win there
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Newcastle vs Arsenal Prediction
The Opta supercomputer is backing Arsenal to repeat May’s successful trip to Tyneside, but they are not overwhelming favourites by any means.
Of 10,000 match simulations conducted by the supercomputer ahead of kick-off, Arsenal won 39.5% of them. Newcastle triumphed in 32.1% of scenarios, with 28.4% finishing level.
In our overall 2023-24 predictions, Arsenal remain third favourites for the Premier League title. The Gunners top the table in 6.8% of season simulations, less often than Man City (80.0%) and Liverpool (10.9%).
Newcastle were assigned a 24.8% chance of another top-four finish before a ball was kicked, but that has fallen slightly to 22.7%, largely due to the form of contenders including Spurs and Villa. Sixth (25.2%) is the Magpies’ most common position in our season projections.