Newcastle host Arsenal in the first game of this week’s Super Sunday Premier League action, kicking off at 2:00pm local time. Steve Bruce will have his managerial competitive debut as Newcastle manager, as he welcomes an Arsenal side who cannot afford to finish outside the top four for a fourth consecutive season.
Home Team: Newcastle
Newcastle have had a turbulent summer since securing their Premier League status last May. As usual, previous manager Rafa Benitez had surpassed expectations set for him, but he wasn’t promised funds to take the team forward, and decided to not sign a new contract. Therefore, with no one in line to replace him, Newcastle decided to appoint former Sunderland manager Steve Bruce. It didn’t go down to well with the Geordie faithful, and it only angered them even more as they took a stance on how the club is currently owned. Some fans are planning to boycott the club until it is being run professionally, and wanting to compete at the top level. Despite all the negativity going around the club, Bruce and his players will remain focus at the task at hand, and new signing Joelington may be a player to bring the fans off their seats. Will he have an instant impact and lift the mood?
Away Team: Arsenal
Unai Emery had a ‘par’ season in his first year in charge, as they narrowly missed out on a top four place, and were beaten finalists in the Europa League. Some would argue progress was made – which isn’t easy considering he had to follow Arsene Wenger – whilst others have said that nothing has changed. Perhaps going forward, Arsenal pose a real threat, and with new record signing Pepe amongst their ranks, they’ll have an attack that could match any in the league.
However, their fragilities have always been at the back, and with the transfer deadline looming large, they are still yet to sign a much-needed centre half. In fact, they’ll be even weaker in that position as Laurent Koscielny is looking to leave. The best form of defence may be to attack for the gunners, so will we see this philosophy put into practice on Sunday?[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot]
Head to Head
Arsenal are incredibly dominant in this fixture, particular in the last decade where they have only lost once in the last 15 matches. Arsenal also completed the double on Newcastle last year, winning 2-1 away and 2-0 at home. Newcastle’s only recent win against the Gunners came in 2018, towards the end of the 2017/18 season at St James Park. Despite falling behind, Newcastle were able to come back from behind and get an important victory which virtually secured them a place in the Premier League for the following season. Aside from that victory, Newcastle have to go back to 2005 for their last victory at home to Arsenal.
My Predictions and Betting Tips
Newcastle are at 10/3 to win on the opening weekend, with Arsenal backed at 3/4. For the sides to share the points, that is priced at 14/5. First of all, it must be noted that Arsenal have a habit of not winning on the opening day, and in the last decade, they have only won twice. Therefore, the odds of them winning at 3/4 may not be the best value. Despite this, I would tip them to win in narrow fashion, so my score line prediction will be 1-0 at 7/1.
For goal scorers, you can back Joelinton to score first Newcastle at any time at 13/5, but for the safe bettors, you can put money on either Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (6/5) or Alexandre Lacazette at 7/5 for the Gunners. Arsenal to win the match with there being less than 2.5 goals in the game is priced at a generous 10/3. Another way to win big on an Arsenal victory is to back them to win from behind at 10/1.
Finally, for the tipsters out there, if you have a feeling Steve Bruce will have some beginners luck, you can back them to get an infamous 3-1 victory at 40/1.[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot]