Newcastle United vs. Arsenal preview
FIRST PL GAME OF THE SEASON
Sunday 11th August 2019
So it’s the first game of the season, and pre-season is done.
Some mixed results occurred here, but with a common theme of good attacking play and crap defending.
However, the club is in a strong state both on and off the pitch, and we seemingly reforming well off the pitch and on it too.
The Toon have Steve Bruce to come in, and whilst derided by some, he is a seasoned manager with lower-end PL sides. Newcastle doesn’t want to be a lower-end PL side – but that is their reality at the moment.
Will our new players start?
I don’t think all of them will.
However, there are some important variables here:
Bruce’s game plan
Andy Carroll has joined and has been a thorn in our side for some years now. But he is injured, and won’t feature. Though Bruce will get his team up for it, and look to see if the old views on Arsenal still hold. If we’re really changing, then he will try to test this and get in our faces, rough us up, and look to hassle us.
And really they have no alternative, since they cannot outplay us technically.
It also is their opening game and opening home game – so for these reasons alone they may want to be competitive.
Emery has to watch for the Toon as they won’t lie down nor be soft.
It’s very sad to see that Ozil and Kolasinac won’t be featuring. Their continual security scrapes are concerning, and who knows if it’s not a deeper connection here.
I do think we’ll feature some of the new buys though:
Pepe is recovering from AFCON, and Torreira also from Copa America. Tierney is injured, though I can see Ceballos starting.
It’s time for Willock and Nelson to feature more prominently, and I feel overall this should be good enough to get the win here.
Luiz and Sokratis could be an ideal combination and could bring a mix of experience, tenacity, pace, and height in our defence.
Maitland-Niles had some noted pre-season issues, but we all know that he is not a natural full-back. Though he has a chance to shine in this game.
Lacazette is injured, so won’t feature here.
Points we need to note
- Be up for the Toon’s energy.
- Not make any key defensive errors. Bruce will be counting on this and it would be a chance to show the world that we’re a changing side. Yes, they aren’t a stellar attacking unit. However, we need to start defending well and this is a prime opportunity for us.
- Auba and Nelson, if the latter starts, have to be on point. Bruce will know this and will be fearful of our attacking threats.
The odds are stacked in our favour – but it’s a matter of the correct attitude and application, and we can start the season off with a win.
Emery is under pressure here – and must deliver this season or he could be gone.
But this is a good test to start off with, and I feel we can get the win.
Newcastle United 1-2 Arsenal