Newcastle United vs Arsenal
As if there wasn’t enough excitement about this Premier League clash, transfer deadline day has only gone and heightened it further.
Let’s be honest, this match was already an intriguing contest – now it’s positively eye-catching!
If the truth be known, Arsenal have probably not strengthened in an area where they need it most.
Indeed, with club captain Laurent Koscielny leaving under a cloud, there had been scant evidence of any fix to the club’s long-well documented central defensive inadequacies.
But the surprise deadline day arrival of David Luiz from London rivals Chelsea will, at least, offset the Frenchman’s departure.
Let it not be forgotten, Luiz’s last competitive appearance for Chelsea was when they saw off Arsenal 4-1 in last season’s Europa League final.
Before that game, he described Unai Emery as “a great guy, a great coach, a great person”, so perhaps this move should not be a total surprise.
While their soft centre remains, two other signings may mean the majority of Arsenal fans retain a new dawn of optimism that any new season brings.
Full-back Kieran Tierney – born in the Isle of Man no less – should shore up the left-hand side in the long term. Arsenal will remain an attacking force to watch, coupled with the addition of club-record signing of Pepe — who impressed in the recent Africa Cup of Nations.
Optimism is not a word which has been associated on Tyneside for some time, yet even fans I know – long fed up of Mike Ashley’s reign – have found something to be hopeful about over the last 24 hours or so.
Hope had previously been in short supply following the departure of much-admired manager Rafa Benitez, along with leading scorers Salomon Rondón and Ayoze Pérez (and seemingly any hope of a takeover).
They were further underwhelmed by the appointment of Steve Bruce as Benitez’s successor.
However, Bruce is a passionate Geordie who will do all he can to succeed and, if given backing, can ensure they survive and create some Premier League 2019 highlights.
He has recently acquired a £40million Brazilian striker in Joelinton, a winger in Allan Saint-Maximin, what looks like a promising Swedish defender in Emil Krafth, and Jetro Willems, the Dutch left-back on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt.
Yet it is the deadline day capture of the injury-prone but home favourite Andy Carroll which has lifted spirits just in the nick of time.
If he can reproduce the form which saw him score 33 goals in 91 appearances the first time around, it will have been worth the risk.
Of course, those moves alone will not pacify long-suffering fans who remain in a militant mood.
Many still plan to boycott this game on Sunday and stage a city-centre protest march against Ashley’s stewardship.
It’ll make it interesting though, another subplot in what could be a fascinating season ahead.
What a rich history these two clubs have, dating back to their first-ever meeting in 1893.
Traditionally, Arsenal have the edge with 77 wins to the Toon’s 67 and a further 38 matches drawn.
However, that is because Arsenal have actually won 12 of their last 13 meetings.
Last season, the Gunners registered a league double.
In September, they won 2-1 at St James’ Park with goals from Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil before Ciaran Clark grabbed a late consolation.
The return match in April also went Arsenal’s way, courtesy of Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette in a 2-0 success.
The only Newcastle victory before 2010 came in April 2018 when Lacazette opened the scoring but Perez and Matt Ritchie turned the game around to seal a fine 2-1 home success for the Geordies.
You have to go back to 2005 for the previous occasion Newcastle beat Arsenal on home soil where a late Nolberto Solano goal won it on Tyneside.
|Newcastle United vs Arsenal||Total Goal 4-6 @ 3.25|
|August 11, 21:00 (GMT+8)|
If recent records are anything to go by, then Arsenal should win with something to spare (of course, it’s not that simple).
The SBOBET Premier League 2019 betting odds suggest as much too.
1X2 odds have Arsenal priced @ 1.84 with the hosts outsiders @ 4.20. For those tempted to a little bit of a risky punt, how about the draw @ 3.50?
It is a similar scenario with Asian Handicap betting with Newcastle priced + 0.50 @ 2.09 and Arsenal -0.75 @ 2.09.
A repeat of last season’s encounter in the northeast – correct score Newcastle 1-2 Arsenal – will payout @ 7.20.
Over 3.00 goals @ 2.38 has caught my eye.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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