Newcastle vs Arsenal: Line-ups
Newcastle Have the Tools to Win
Bruce’s side cannot mathematically guarantee survival this weekend, but should they defeat Arsenal, Fulham lose at Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion fail to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers, then they would be 12 points clear of the bottom three with only 12 points left to play for, which would all but seal their status as a Premier League side for another campaign.
Mikel Arteta must quickly turn his attention back to domestic matters, then, ahead of Sunday’s trip north to the North East. In truth, Arsenal have little left to play for in the Premier League this season, with perhaps avoiding falling into the bottom half of the table the Spaniard’s only real concern.
Should Aston Villa avoid defeat at Everton on Saturday, the Gunners will head into this match in 11th place, so while Europe will rightly remain their priority, they will still have plenty of pride on the line against a side guaranteed to be fully focused.
Bruce revealed in his press conference on Friday that he feels the “time is right” for his top goalscorer Wilson to start against Arsenal, after the England forward suggested his hamstring issue is firmly behind him with a bright cameo at Liverpool last time out.
Expect Newcastle to build on their recent upturn in form by claiming a crucial victory against a potentially distracted and under-strength Arsenal side. With the likes of Wilson, Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin in attack, the Magpies can seriously damage the visitors in transition.