34 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle
Free-kick to Arsenal in Newcastle’s half. Odegaard takes a swinging one that hits Gabriel’s head, whose attempt just goes narrow. The hosts almost got a well-deserved lead.
Forever busy Arteta.
31 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle
Nketiah is the first Arsenal player to see a yellow card – he was cautioned for removing Schar’s shirt.
30 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle
Half an hour has passed and Newcastle will be happy to be still 0-0. Arsenal are dealing with an organized backline and the hosts have to be patient in the moment or ‘at the moment’ as Gary Neville always says… Only Whitney Houston can escape the old ‘moment in time’ phrase. .
28 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle
The first card of the match goes to Guimaraes who goes down in Arsenal’s half and knocks down Nketiah – an unnecessary challenge that…
25 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle
Arsenal try to pass the ball as accurately as possible to Saka on the right, he has an advantage over Burn and the Newcastle player could have a long night.
It’s still a case where hosts are probing trying to find this breakthrough. It’s not exactly defense versus offense, but it’s not far off.
23 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle
The game slowed down after the first 10 minutes of fast and furious. Newcastle will be more than happy with it, even though they don’t show much in attack.
20 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle
There is a pause seen by Joelinton after Ben White’s challenge. He’s fine to continue. While this was taking place, Arteta was furiously gesturing to the Arsenal players on the touchline.
Sam Dean in the Emirates
It was a typically quick start for Arsenal, who have started from the front on a regular basis this season. The battle between Bukayo Saka and Dan Burn appears to be a particular problem for Newcastle as Saka has already overcome several challenges. However, Newcastle are here to play and they are getting through Arsenal’s midfield. We want a cracker.
16 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle
Corner for Newcastle – They have a tall men’s kit and set-pieces should be hard to beat in this wind. Trippier’s ball is good, it goes in at a fast pace just outside the six-yard box, Schar heads it, but the defender moves away from the goal and his header does no damage.
14 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle
A good chance for Arsenal after a good run and Nketiah’s neat action in the right inside channel goes awry when Xhaka misses his shot. The shot is so bad it doesn’t go out and Arsenal have the ball and can attack again. Odegaard makes a great run behind Burn and scores a corner as he heads towards goal. The resulting set piece of the match comes to naught, but the hosts look threatening in attack.
11 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle
Newcastle have a little more ball at the moment – it relieves their back line, which is what they needed. The ball reaches Wilson, about 30 yards out, and his speculative shot (in every sense of the word) is easily dismissed by Ramsdale in the Arsenal goal.
Newcastle under pressure from the start
9 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle
This is a case of reaching the 20-minute mark for Newcastle at the moment. They have the best defensive record in the league and that is being tested right now.
7 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle
Newcastle are just settling in at the moment as they try to cope with Arsenal’s wave of attacks. As I write, there is another attempt to score: Saka drives to the penalty area, passes to Martinelli, who then plays Xhaka, who drives the ball too much and can’t hit the goal from a tight angle.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – a great start from the hosts, full of vigor and vigor.
5 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle
Saka does what she does best – turns on the burners and takes her man. He defeats Burn and forces a last-ditch block in the penalty area.
A great start to an Arsenal game that causes problems for Newcastle from the start, which is what Arteta wanted.
3 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle
Good from Arsenal. An early ball comes from Martinelli and Newcastle do enough to remove the danger. But they haven’t completely cleared it, and in difficult, windy conditions the ball eventually drops to the player of the moment, Odegaard, whose shot flies over the crossbar.
2 mins: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle
An early substitution for the visitors put pressure on the hosts after a free-kick in Arsenal’s half. The wind blows in north London and a decent delivery can prove difficult. But the flag is up and Newcastle cannot put pressure on early.
Early signs are that Newcastle are making it difficult for the hosts to play from the back.
1 min: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle
They are underway at Emirates as a team sponsored by a UAE company takes on a club owned by Saudi Arabia – global game and so on…
Both sides are wearing traditional attire, with no brightly colored away kits visible.
It could be a cracker
Two teams in great shape, both wanting to prove that it’s not a coincidence. Can’t wait…
The teams took to the field
And the game is coming soon.
Skip Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson
This stat shows how well Eddie Howe has fared since arriving at St James’ Park.
The laconic Mikel Arteta says…
On what he expects tonight…
“It will be a good test”
On naming the unchanged XI for the team that beat Brighton 4-2…
“We always have to perform at the highest level and we believe this is the team that can do it.”
On the character of Eddie Nketiah…
“Eddie is doing really well, he’s making a difference in the game.”
On trying to get off to a quick start in matches like they did at Brighton…
“We always try to maximize in 96 minutes – always try in every game.”
On what Arsenal need to do to win today…
Here’s Howe on the Ronaldo rumors
He seems pretty adamant that it’s a lot of old shoemakers…not sure why he would want Portuguese in this runner side of Newcastle…
Eddie Howe says…
On what to expect from tonight’s match…
“It will be a good game from our perspective, we have to be on our way today. They are playing at a very high level tactically, so they need a solid foundation to be in the game. We also have our own way of playing, so it will be interesting to see that… It’s never easy, but this is the challenge for us today.”
About Callum Wilson…
“He’s back, he’s fit, he’s ready and he’ll give us a different focal point.”
On the expectations facing Newcastle…
“Pressure on both sides – we’ve lived well under that pressure so far.”
Cristiano Ronaldo is rumored to go on loan to Newcastle if they qualify for the Champions League…
“We wish him the best, but from our perspective, there is no truth to it.”
How have Newcastle and Eddie Howe turned things around?
It’s all too tempting to shout “Saudi money” to this question, but the change is that other forces are at work quickly and impressively. And one of the reasons they’re in the top three is because of this age-old truth: hard work.
A typical day starts at 6am with a half-hour workout at the training ground gym, where Howe will stay until 6-7pm. After staff meetings and breakfast, Howe will be on the sidelines during each training session and usually takes a hands-on approach… In the afternoon there will be one-on-one meetings with the riders as well as the staff. He spends a lot of time with video analysts working out what clips to show players in team meetings, as well as ones he wants to collect on their opponents… He constantly analyzes opposing teams and players, and also looks back at every Newcastle performance to evaluate his own team. Howe is normally in bed and asleep by 10:30 p.m.
To read Luke Edwards the inside story of how Eddie Howe turned things around at St James’ Park HERE.
Here are two teams in non-Twitter form
ARSENAL XI WON NEWCASTLE: Ramsdale, White, Partey, Gabriel, Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli, Saliba, Nketiah, Xhaka, Zinchenko
Subscriptions: Turner, Tierney, Holding, Tomiyasu, Vieira, Lokonga, Elneny, Marquinhos, Oyedeji
Mikel Arteta made no changes to the team that impressed with a 4-2 win over Brighton on New Year’s Eve. This means Eddie Nketiah has a chance to score in four consecutive home games. Gabriel who?
NEWCASTLE XI VS ARSENAL: Pope, Trippier, Botman, Schar, Joelinton, Wilson, Almiron, Willock, Burn, Longstaff, Guimaraes
Subscriptions: Dubravka, Lascelles, Saint-Maximin, Ritchie, Lewis, Manquillo, Wood, Murphy, Anderson
Callum Wilson comes back from illness and replaces Chris Wood, who is on the bench. This is the only change for the team that drew 0-0 with Leeds on New Year’s Eve.
Would you expect these two to be in the top three?
Gary Neville was asked about it on Sky Sports and quickly replied: ‘NO’
This is Newcastle
This is Arsenal XI
Will Arsenal be 10 points clear at the top?
Few would have predicted that Arsenal vs Newcastle on January 3 would be a crucial game in the Premier League title race, but here we are.
Arsenal will be 10 points clear of Manchester City if they keep their excellent league record at home this season, but will have to break through the division’s tightest defence. Newcastle have a rather pathetic record against Arsenal, but their only league loss this season was an injury-time win over Liverpool in August. The physicality and hard work of Eddie Howe’s team made life extremely uncomfortable for opponents, as Arsenal knew very well after a weak side was beaten at St James’ Park in May.
This result almost confirmed that Arsenal missed their chance to qualify for the Champions League, so there is a chance for revenge. Arsenal have taken 43 points from a possible 48 this season and have taken seven points in victories over West Ham and Brighton since losing Garbiel Jesus to injury.
While fans dream of a first league title since 2004, securing a top-four finish was the main goal of the season and it would certainly be in the bag with another win tonight (it would take Arsenal 16 points clear of Tottenham in fifth place). There is no reason for Mikel Arteta to make changes, and Oleksandr Zinchenko and Ben White left Brighton early to save energy.
The big decision for Howe is whether to give Allan Saint-Maximin his first start since August after the winger returned from injury, minutes off the bench in Newcastle’s last few games. A striker trio of Miguel Almiron, Callum Wilson and Saint-Maximin would certainly provide the speed to threaten space behind Arsenal’s high lane. Both Brighton and West Ham had some success pouring in direct balls behind William Saliba and Gabriel. Arsenal will be looking for another quick start to score the first goal and weaken Newcastle’s counter-attacking strategy.
Full team news coming soon.