Prediction and odds: Arsenal (4/5) vs Newcastle (16/5)
We’re backing Arsenal/Arsenal (HT/FT) at 15/8
When: Tuesday, 3rd January 2022 – 7.45pm KO (GMT)
Where: Emirates Stadium
Premier League leaders Arsenal will attempt to hold serve against one of their biggest challengers this season – Newcastle United.
The season Arsenal fans have been dreaming about for years is currently playing out before their very eyes. They are on track to win the Premier League title for the first time in almost 20 years but, of course, we all know there’s more than half of the campaign to go. Still, it’s easy to get carried away, given the Gunners have only dropped points in two league games so far under the guidance of Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal returned to action on Boxing Day following the winter World Cup break and, for a long spell, they were made to really work for it against West Ham. They fell behind before edging back into the game and putting their stamp on a 3-1 success. Then, just five days later, they were at their ruthless and efficient best in a 4-2 triumph over high-flying Brighton.
It was always going to be a possibility that Newcastle United were fighting for a European spot this season. After all, they’ve vaulted themselves into a real position of power under Eddie Howe – plus, they’ve got Saudi-backed owners. Alas, none of that matters unless you produce on the pitch, and that’s exactly what the Magpies have spent the last few months doing in a pretty convincing fashion.
A trip to face Leicester is never supposed to be easy and yet, Newcastle made it look that way on Boxing Day. They tore through the Foxes and did so with emphatic ease, eventually walking away with a 3-0 win. They were then faced with the task of hosting struggling Leeds and although they had plenty of chances to kill off the game, they were held to a slightly disappointing 0-0 draw.
The instinct prediction is that this isn’t going to be as electric of a game as many think, largely because both teams will now feel as if they’ve got something very valuable to protect. We think Arsenal will try to hit their top four foes on a few nasty counters, only to be thwarted by the bigger team.
Eventually, though, they’ll be able to get some consistency off before half time, taking the lead just before the break. We can’t picture Howe’s men getting off the ground too much in an attacking sense, outside of a few set pieces, leaving them to defend an onslaught from the Gunners.
The home side will score another in the second half and, as they’ve done so many times, play it out until they get another three points under their belt.
Our tips (all taken from bet365): Arsenal/Arsenal (HT/FT) at 15/8 + under 2.5 goals at 1/1[geosnippet id=3620]
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