Where: St. James' Park, Newcastle
When: 12:30 p.m. EST, Saturday, August 13
Watch: The match is being shown on ESPN UK, while American audiences can see it on Fox Soccer Channel.
What to Watch for Newcastle: The Magpies cleaned house over the summer, selling off a number of their top talents in Jose Enrique, Kevin Nolan and (quite possibly) Joey Barton. They've added a few parts in their places, like striker Gabriel Obertan, but can they actually get past the mighty Gunners' offense?
With Hatem Ben Arfa out of the match with injury, Toon Army isn't looking all that strong for this one. Sylvain Marveaux is talented, but can he carry the midfield load by himself? Manager Alan Pardew worked wonders at St. James Park last season with a talented young squad, but now he'll need to pull a miracle out of his hat to salvage what is looking like a tough season for the Magpies.
What to Watch for Arsenal: How will Wenger's squad fare without former captain Cesc Fabregas? The 24-year-old midfielder was a key cog for the Gunners over the last few seasons, but he looks bound for Barcelona in the very near future. Now, Arsene will have to figure out which of the young Gunner midfielders are capable of stepping in to fill the Spaniard's sizable shoes.
To compound the issue, the Gunners will likely be without midfielder Samir Nasri as well. The Frenchman isn't listed in their roster for Saturday, meaning fans will get their first taste of life without the dynamic duo in the midfield.
Arsenal's defense is still in shambles, even with the return of Thomas Vermaelen from injury. Unless Wenger manages to pull off a deal for a defender in the next 24 hours, we'll get a good look at just how the still-shaky back line will fare this season.
Biggest Storyline: Without a doubt, the biggest storyline in this match is Arsenal's new-look lineup. There will be some new faces in the lineup, courtesy of Gervinho up front and anyone from Aaron Ramsey to Andrei Arshavin in the midfield. But will the untouched defense hold up to its first real test against a Premiership offense?
Sure, Newcastle are hardly an explosive squad offensively, but Arsenal's defense was riddled with mishaps during the preseason. While the Gunners shouldn't be in much danger from the Magpies, we'll learn a lot about their chances this season from this match.
Result: Even without Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, Arsenal outclasses Newcastle by a fairly sizable margin. Their offense should have little trouble picking apart the Magpies' defense, while they should be able to stymie the Toon attack, even with their lousy back line. It won't be a laugher, but don't expect a thriller, either. Expect a steady dose of Robin van Persie and Gervinho at the front, while Theo Walcott eviscerates the Toon midfield.
Final Score: Arsenal 3, Newcastle 1