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Just when it seemed as though Arsenal were about to go on a winning run, they play out a dire 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace to keep them in the bottom half of the table.
There were both positive and negative signs for Mikel Arteta in that game, though their potency in front of goal still needs to be addressed. Indeed, they’ve scored a maximum of one goal in 72% of their games this season, while if you exclude the sides currently in the relegation zone that figure rises to 87%.
It’s therefore little surprise that they’ve gone just W3-D3-L8 against sides placed 16th or above this year, and if they want to be challenging for European places of any kind, that record needs to improve drastically.
Newcastle haven’t exactly been prolific either and they’ll be licking their wounds having been the first side to succumb to defeat against Sheffield United. That’s now eight games without a win for Steve Bruce’s men in all competitions, while they’ve scored just the solitary goal across the last six of those matches.
They have, however, remained competitive in many of their games recently, suffering a narrow defeat to Leicester, holding Liverpool to a goalless draw as well as taking the Gunners themselves to extra-time in the FA Cup last weekend.
Although the team sheets for this clash will look different to those of last weekend, we’d still expect a relatively competitive affair.
Newcastle haven’t showed any type of form with regard to results, but with half of Arsenal’s goals this season coming against the bottom four clubs we can’t see the visitors being taken to the cleaners.
Under 2.5 Goals
The goals have massively dried up in the Premier League after a blistering start to the campaign, and 20 of the last 29 games have seen a maximum of two strikes and these two sides are no exception to that rule.
Six of the Magpies last seven outings in all competitions have seen ‘Unders’ land, while only Sheffield United and Burnley have seen fewer goals per game than the Gunners so it’s a surprise to see the low scorer at such long odds.
Half-time Score 0-0
Arsenal haven’t been the fastest starters this season and have won just three of their 18 first halves so far, while they’ve gone into the break level in just under half of their last 15, as well as last weekend against the Magpies in the cup.
That’s also been the half-time score in half of Newcastle’s last 12 outings in the league, including each of their last four in all competitions, so we wouldn’t be holding our breath for the opener here.