James Mason expects a tight game when Arsenal travel to Newcastle on Saturday evening in the Premier League.
There is a heavyweight Premier League contest on Saturday when Arsenal travel to St James’ Park to tackle Newcastle.
The two sides had differing fortunes in the EFL Cup in midweek, with Arsenal losing 3-1 at West Ham and Newcastle winning 3-0 at Old Trafford against Manchester United.
Eddie Howe rotated his side for that cup contest and the likes of Callum Wilson, Bruno Guimaraes and Kieran Trippier are expected to return to the starting line up.
The Gunners will be without injured pair Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Jesus but Mikel Arteta has plenty of attacking options at his disposal.
The match betting expects a competitive contest on Saturday, with Arsenal rated the narrow 6/4 favourites. Newcastle are 9/5 shots and the draw is available at 23/20.
Top sides could be difficult to split
It’s hard to say that Arsenal are playing well enough to warrant being 6/4 shots on Saturday, but the Gunners have the class to beat any side in the Premier League.
Mikel Arteta’s men were hammered 3-1 by West Ham in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night and that was a disappointing effort even if it was a much-changed Gunners side.
Arsenal did beat Sheffield United 5-0 and Sevilla 2-1 in the Champions League prior to the cup exit, but the European victory was a narrow one and that followed a fortunate 2-2 draw at Chelsea.
However, the north London side have shown that they have the class to beat Man City this season and in Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka the Gunners have a constant threat. The injury to Jesus is a major blow to Arsenal, but their defensive line is robust enough to keep Newcastle at bay.
The Magpies are also without their first-choice forward in Alexander Isak and Howe’s side were beaten by Dortmund and could only take a draw prior to their EFL Cup win over a struggling Man Utd side on Wednesday.
Two of Newcastle’s last three Premier League fixtures have ended in a draw and we may get another stalemate at St James’ Park on Saturday.
Defences can stand firm
Arsenal have only managed to score more than one goal in three of their last eight matches and that shot-shy record is unlikely to improve with Jesus out of the team. The Gunners are short of options in the striking position, with Eddie Nketiah the only other senior number 9 at the club, and Arteta’s emphasis may be on the strength of his defence on Saturday.
The north London side have kept a clean sheet in six of their last 11 games, and with Newcastle also nursing attacking injuries, goals could be hard to find at St James’ Park.
The Magpies have seen four of their last six home matches go under the 2.5-goal mark and that looks like a play again this weekend.
Draw @ 23/20
Under 2.5 goals @