Newcastle vs Arsenal LIVE: Mikel Arteta’s side look to close the gap to Man City to one point with victory
Follow Mail Sport’s live blog for the Premier League clash between Newcastle and Arsenal.
The players are out warming up ahead of this one.
The referee today is Chris Kavanagh – although for everyone’s sake, I hope we’re talking about the football, not the officiating, when the final whistle’s blown.
Less than 45 minutes until kick-off at St. James’ Park. Wonder what is running through the minds of both managers this close to a crucial fixture at the top of the league?
When these two sides met back in January, it finished 0-0.
It was Arsenal’s 29th clean sheet against Newcastle – a Premier League record for keeping a specific top-flight side at bay.
The Magpies have scored 13 goals in their last three league outings – and it will be a tough task for Aaron Ramsdale to keep them out today.
Next Saturday, Newcastle travel to struggling Leeds United, while the following afternoon, Arsenal host Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton.
One change for the visitors as well from the team that saw off Chelsea in midweek. Gabriel Martinelli starts for the Gunners, with Leandro Trossard on the bench for Mikel Arteta’s side.
Following fears that he would not pass fit, Gabriel is included in the starting XI.
🔴 𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗠𝙉𝙀𝙒𝙎 ⚪️
🧱 Gabriel fit to start
⚖️ Xhaka in the middle
🔙 Martinelli returns
Come on you Gunners! pic.twitter.com/Hp26NeWjLw
Eddie Howe makes one change for the hosts, with Callum Wilson replaced by Everton annoyer Anthony Gordon. Otherwise, it’s the same XI that beat Southampton 3-1 a week ago.
HOWAY NEWCASTLE! 👊#NEWARS pic.twitter.com/gogUEC8Bif
For Mikel Arteta’s Gunners, they need to get themselves back to winning ways after dropping a number of points, and losing their grip on the Premier League title race. Sure, Tuesday’s win against an off-colour Chelsea set them up on the right foot, but Newcastle will form a much sterner test this afternoon.
Manchester City are four points ahead of the Gunners presently, but Arsenal can bring that down to just one point by 6.30pm this evening.
Newcastle have never won consecutive league matches against Arsenal at home – but following the 2-0 win last season, this is their chance to make history. It’s the time to do it as well, with four wins in their last five, and elite European competition on the line.
The Magpies can’t confirm a Champions League place just yet – but they can ensure they’ll finish above sixth-placed Spurs with a win over their North London rivals.
Hello, and welcome to this afternoon’s live blog covering Newcastle United against Arsenal.
It’s third versus second in the Premier League, and today’s result will have a big impact on the Magpies as they look to secure a Champions League berth, and the title race, with the Gunners needing a win to stay hot on Man City’s tails after their win yesterday.
Kick off at St. James’ Park is at 4.30, which is just over an hour away.
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