The Premier League is finally back, and Arsenal kick off their new season with a trip to St. James’ Park on Sunday.
The Premier League restarts with Liverpool facing Norwich on Friday, but Arsenal have to wait a couple more days for their first fixture. They face a Newcastle side who have made a few interesting additions to their squad this summer.
Joelinton joined from Hoffenheim for around £40m and has scored in their last two pre-season friendlies. Allan Saint-Maximin is an exciting dribbler even if he needs to add a bit more end product. Arsenal fans will already know Andy Carroll, but he’s set to miss the game with an injury.
The match is at 14:00 BST on Sunday, August 11th at St. James’ Park, and it will be televised in the UK on Sky Sports. You can see the full television listings by country at LiveSoccerTV.
Let’s have a look at our predicted team for the match.
Predicted Lineup (4-2-3-1)
The 4-2-3-1 was Unai Emery’s favourite through pre-season, so he’s likely to stick with it now the new campaign is getting underway.
Bernd Leno appeared to edge the battle for the number-one spot on tour, though Emi Martinez also impressed and will likely get chances in the League Cup and Europa League.
This game probably comes too soon for David Luiz, given he hasn’t yet had a training session with the team. Given Mustafi’s continued sub-par performances, Koscielny’s departure and injuries to Holding and Mavropanos, that leaves Chambers and Sokratis at centre-back.
Holding is set for a return after the international break, whilst Mavropanos’ fitness is still a bit of a mystery.
Maitland-Niles is Arsenal’s only real right-back option as things stand. When Luiz is ready, Chambers could move out to the right, and Hector Bellerin is slowly returning to fitness, but for now, the 21-year-old should keep his place.
It’s a toss-up between Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac in Kieran Tierney’s absence, but Monreal will probably be needed for cover at centre-back, so Kolasinac should start.
In midfield, Willock’s pre-season performances should have earned him a place in the starting lineup. Lucas Torreira, Dani Ceballos and Matteo Guendouzi all had limited pre-season involvement, whilst Mohamed Elneny had none at all. Xhaka will take the other spot.
Ahead of them, much depends on the fitness of Alexandre Lacazette. If he’s available up front, Aubameyang, Özil and Mkhitaryan can fill the other three spots whilst new signing Nicolas Pepe makes the bench.
If not, Aubameyang will be up top with Reiss Nelson the most likely to fill in on the left.
Leno; Maitland-Niles, Chambers, Sokratis, Kolasinac; Xhaka, Willock; Aubameyang, Özil, Mkhitaryan; Lacazette.