Arsenal had a few injury concerns heading into the international break but will see a number of stars return to contention when they face Newcastle United.
Arsenal face Newcastle United at the Emirates on Monday, knowing very well that a win is all they need to go above arch-rivals Tottenham in third on the table after Spurs lost their pivotal game to Liverpool. Th Gunners’ other top four rivals also won, with Chelsea and Manchester United claiming three points in their respective encounters.
Arsenal also have a chance to win their tenth consecutive home game in the league, something Arsene Wenger achieved in his first full season back in 1997-98. Any dropped points against Newcastle could prove costly, as they currently sit fifth on the table, with a game in hand.
As for team news, it is surprising that the Arsenal website did not list Granit Xhaka among those injured. The bulletin did provide updates on Aaron Ramsey and Nacho Monreal’s conditions, stating that the duo were back to full training ahead of the Newcastle clash. Xhaka is also back in training and could feature from the start.
During Emery’s pre-match press conference, he was quizzed on the status of those doubtful, to which he responded by saying, “We trained this morning and some players were rested to give them one day more before training with us tomorrow.”
“That’s Aaron Ramsey, Dinos Mavropanos. But I think they can be okay and ready for Monday. Xhaka also rested today, and we are going to wait for tomorrow and Sunday. But the first previews from the doctor’s analysis is that they can be okay to play on Monday”.
Bernd Leno is a sure starter in goal, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles will be rewarded a right wing-back berth following his impressive displays in the last two games. Sead Kolasinac will take up his place on the opposite flank, while Emery will likely prefer a back-three. Going by his recent selections, the Arsenal boss should play Laurent Koscielny, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Monreal in those three positions.
In midfield, Lucas Torreira remains suspended following his straight red card against Tottenham and will have to serve another match of his ban after the one against Newcastle United before entering the first-team fold in the league.
Matteo Guendouzi could thus, come into the side, especially with Ramsey’s availability being doubtful. Granit Xhaka will likely be his preferred partner, although Emery would not have wanted to break the Swiss’ recent partnership with Ramsey there.
In attack, Emery is set to keep faith in Mesut Ozil and owing to his good record against Newcastle, the Germany playmaker will retain his place. Alongside him upfront would be Arsenal’s lethal strike partnership of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.