Arsenal host Newcastle on Saturday afternoon looking to maintain their lead at the top of the Premier League table.
The Gunners looked to have finally found a touch of consistency, having won five out of their last six games in all competitions, with a 4-0 defeat Southampton their only slip-up.
The recent good run has the Gunners move above the likes of Leicester and Manchester City to the top of the table. Arsene Wenger’s side are currently only top on goal difference, with Leicester breathing down their neck. Third-place Manchester City are three points behind the top two teams.
Last time out the side from north London recorded a 2-0 victory over Bournemouth, as record-signing Mesut Ozil watch again starred. The German created the opening goal for Brazilian defender Gabriel Paulista and then scored the second goal to secure maximum points.
Ozil has now recorded 16 assists and scored three Premier League goals this season, as he has become more influential for Arsene Wenger’s team.
The omens are good for an Arsenal win in this one, as the Gunners have beaten the north east visitors in the last eight meetings. They have also scored three or more goals in their last three meetings with the Magpies in all competitions. Wenger’s men have won six out of their last seven home games in the top-flight.
The visitors have suffered consecutive 1-0 defeats in the Premier League that has seen them drop into the relegation zone. Last time out Steve McClaren’s team suffered a defeat a West Brom, with veteran midfielder Darren Fletcher scoring the only goal of the match.
The Magpies poor festive period means they are now two points from safety facing this difficult trip to north London. They may take heart from the fact the last time they travelled to north London they recorded a 2-1 win at Tottenham.
Arsenal’s well-documented injury crisis has not abated. Key players like Santi Cazorla, Alexis Sanchez and Francis Coquelin are joined on the sidelines by Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky. French midfielder Mathieu Flamini is also a doubt.
Newcastle have injury problems of their own. Tim Krul, Massadio Haidara, Steven Taylor and Gabriel Obertan have all been ruled out through injury, while Rob Elliot, Vurnon Anita and Papiss Cisse are also big doubts for the clash.
Arsenal are heavy favourites to claim a win in this one at odds of 2/7, while the draw is odds of 11/2 and the visitors are odds of 10/1 to claim an unlikely victory in north London.
The Gunners will fancy their chances of maximum points in this one against a struggling Newcastle side.
Will Arsenal claim a win over Newcastle on Saturday?