Arsenal will begin their 2019-20 Premier League season at Newcastle United on Sunday full of optimism.
The Gunners had a busy transfer window and have made a number of exciting acquisitions. Nicolas Pepe and Dani Ceballos arrived, bringing a spark to Unai Emery's attacking options, and the English top flight's transfer deadline day saw David Luiz and Kieran Tierney arrive to improve the defence.
For Newcastle supporters, the new season is accompanied by trepidation instead of excitement. The loss of ex-manager Rafael Benitez will leave them weaker, and while they have splashed out on some forward acquisitions, the Magpies look set for a campaign of toil.
Regardless, St James' Park will be abuzz with noise come kick-off. Here are the key details for the fixture and a preview of what's to come.
Newcastle win (18/5)
Arsenal win (13/15)
Odds courtesy of Oddschecker
Date: Sunday, August 11
Time: 2 p.m. (BST), 9 a.m. (ET)
TV Info: NBC Sports (U.S.), Sky Sports (UK)
At the start of the summer transfer window, Arsenal supporters weren't anticipating their team to do too much business. Come Thursday's deadline, they were able to reflect on some savvy moves by the club.
Up top, they made one of the biggest acquisitions of the summer in Pepe. The winger enjoyed a stunning season with Lille in 2018-19, providing thrust and incision on the right flank that was crucial in his side finishing as runners-up to Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1.
Not only does he offer speed and skill from the right flank, but his productivity was also excellent last term:
When you factor in the potency both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette were able to showcase last season, Arsenal are likely to be one of the most prolific teams in the top flight.
In addition, Emery has moved to improve the team's defensive options, which could be key when visiting hostile venues like the one they will head to on Sunday.
Eyebrows will be raised about the signing of Luiz, although in the right setup and with some renewed focus, he can be a big upgrade on the team's current options at centre-back. Meanwhile, Tierney's attacking endeavour on the left will give the XI a different edge in their forward forays.
Mark Mann-Bryans of the Press Association was full of praise for the deals done by the Gunners:
It's a big day for Newcastle boss Steve Bruce, as he'll be hoping his players can produce something impressive after a disruptive summer.
Bruce's appointment wasn't well received by Newcastle supporters, and while they have spent some big money in the summer window on Joelinton and Allan Saint-Maximin, faded hopes of a buyout of unpopular owner Mike Ashley means there's a flat mood in the north-east.
One acquisition that may boost spirits is the one-year deal agreed to bring Andy Carroll back to the club.
Per Oliver Kay of The Times, the player is said to be delighted to return to his boyhood club:
The match has all the makings of a tough afternoon for Newcastle. There's a positive feeling around Arsenal at the moment, meaning they will travel to St James' Park in high spirits, and the home crowd may be a little apprehensive about coming up against Aubameyang, Lacazette and Pepe.
If the Gunners get an early goal, it's easy to see the atmosphere inside the stadium dwindling and frustration taking over. Under Benitez, you would back the Magpies to make this a tight encounter, although with Bruce at the helm, they're unlikely to have the same structure in their play.
Prediction: Newcastle 0-2 Arsenal