How Newcastle United Will Line Up Against Arsenal
Toon boss Alan Pardew is looking to halt a run of five straight defeats in the Premier League—an unwanted record for the 52-year-old that has cranked up the feeling of unrest at St. James’ Park.
With the Gunners in good form heading in to the clash after successive wins over West Ham and Hull City, Arsene Wenger’s side are overwhelming favourites to make it three in a row.
So as the Magpies look to pull off the unexpected at the Emirates Stadium, we take a look at how Pardew’s side could line up in north London.
Goalkeeper: Tim Krul
Recently linked with a summer move away from Newcastle United by the Daily Star’s Ian Murtagh, goalkeeper Tim Krul will be faced with some pressing issues over the coming weeks and months.
But his more immediate concern will be keeping the likes of Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey at bay at the Emirates on Monday.
The Dutchman still hopes to play some part at the World Cup in Brazil despite being dropped by Louis Van Gaal recently.
But he’ll need his team’s form to improve, as well as his own, if those dreams are to come true.
Full-Backs: Mathieu Debuchy and Paul Dummett
One crumb of comfort for Alan Pardew amid the doom and gloom is the return of French international Mathieu Debuchy, and the right-back should go straight into the side on Monday
The 28-year-old played longer than expected in his comeback against Swansea City thanks to an early injury to Papiss Cisse, but the former Lille man is in line to make his first start since the beginning of March.
On the left, Paul Dummett will continue his run in the first-team. With Davide Santon out for the rest of the season, the 22-year-old will get the nod ahead of Massadio Haidara.
Centre-Backs: Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson
After making such a positive early impact as Newcastle United’s first-choice centre-backs this term, it’s fair to say the wheels have come off for Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson in 2014.
In the last five games alone, the pair have seen their side concede 14 times and what looked like a solid partnership to begin with is now shipping goals at an alarming rate.
In an interview with the Evening Chronicle’s Lee Ryder, club captain Coloccini admitted that performances have not been good enough, saying: “The fans are angry—we have to accept that. We have to start playing like a team again.”
But both himself and Williamson will have to be on top of their game if they’re to keep Arsenal quiet on Monday.
Central Midfielders: Vurnon Anita and Cheick Tiote
The return of Mathieu Debuchy will see Vurnon Anita switch to a more familiar role in the centre of the park, and his partnership with Cheick Tiote will be crucial.
Though the pairing lacks any real creativity, the Magpies may have higher priorities on Monday, and Alan Pardew will be hoping a compact midfield will frustrate the Gunners.
As is often the case, Tiote’s discipline will be put to the test, but the Ivorian could play a huge part, patrolling the space in front of Newcastle’s back four and stemming Arsenal’s flow.
Wide Midfielders: Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran
Another plus for beleaguered Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew is the return of Moussa Sissoko, who will line up on the right against Arsenal after a four-week lay-off.
Though his duties may include dropping into a more central role as the game wears on, the Frenchman’s inclusion will be a welcome boost for the Magpies as they look to arrest their slide.
On the other flank, Yoan Gouffran will attempt to rediscover his scoring touch. The former Bordeaux man scored seven times before the turn of the year, but he has yet to find the net in 2014.
Centre-Forwards: Loic Remy and Luuk De Jong
It’s perhaps a sign of the times that the two strikers who will lead the line against Arsenal don’t even belong to Newcastle United and neither are likely to be at the club next season.
Loic Remy is hot property after scoring 13 times in the Premier League this term, and Arsene Wenger is keeping tabs on the 27-year-old, as reported by The Shields Gazette.
Given the Gunners’ interest, Remy may well see this fixture as an opportunity to impress his suitors after returning from injury for the Magpies last Saturday.
As for Luuk De Jong, his future remains up in the air after a disappointing loan spell at St. James’ Park. Unlike his fellow forward, the Dutchman has made no impact on Tyneside so far and has failed to find the net in 11 appearances.