Pardew tells Gunners fans to show Wenger respect ahead of clash
Arsenal have won their last five fixtures against Newcastle United. They are odds-on with Coral at 4/9 to keep up that run, though face a desperate defensive shortage.
Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal are still injured, while Calum Chambers is suspended. It may mean that Per Mertesacker could be set to form a fourth defensive partnership, with Frenchman Mathieu Debuchy tipped to be moved inside from right back to provide experience against the club he left in the summer.
Or, it is unlikely, though Mathieu Flamini could be dropped back into the rearguard; however, he could be of more use in the midfield screen, with Aaron Ramsey set to miss out alongside other absentees Mikel Arteta, Abou Diaby and Jack Wilshere.
Newcastle, meanwhile, ended Chelsea’s unbeaten start to the season last time out and will be looking to catch Arsenal out on their own backyard, after the Gunners yielded at Stoke City previously in the Premier League. It makes for an intriguing contest.
Olivier Giroud dispatched home and away last term for the hosts, and, as a result, is 4/1 to break the deadlock. Meanwhile, top scorer in all competitions for Arsenal with 14, Alexis Sanchez, is 3/1 in the same market, having scored the solitary goal the last time Arsene Wenger’s side played at home.
The Magpies, who are on the same amount of points as Arsenal (23), will be looking to their match-winner against Jose Mourinho’s Blues, Papiss Cisse, to get on the scoresheet. Having bagged a brace in the 2-1 victory, the Senegalese striker, who will almost definitely be going to the Africa Cup of Nations in January, is 11/4 to notch in the anytime market.
Spanish sensation Ayoze Perez, who has sparkled at times in his first season, has netted three goals in Newcastle’s recent run, is also 11/4 to replicate Cisse.
For Arsenal, Santi Cazorla, who was among the goals against the Potters, is 10/3 to make the net bulge. Germany centurion Lukas Podolski struck twice in his team’s 4-1 away victory over Galatasaray in the Champions League prior to this match, and this was a timely reminder of his talent, so he is 5/1 to open the scoring again.
Ahead of the match, Magpies boss Alan Pardew has called on Gunners fans to lay off his former sparring partner Wenger, after fans abused the Frenchman following the Stoke defeat.
The two managers were famously involved in a sideline shoving match when Pardew was in charge of West Ham, but Newcastle’s boss insists he has nothing but respect for his opposite number for everything he has achieved.
“This is a guy that’s done an unbelievable job, and in some ways the stadium should be named after him,” Pardew said. “If he hadn’t been as astute in the transfer market as he’s been they couldn’t have competed in the Champions League with that stadium debt.
“He’s done an absolutely marvellous job. He’s had a couple of difficult results recently, but Arsene has those as every manager does. He’ll get through it.
“His treatment in that train station [Stoke] was was total disrespect, and I’m sure every Arsenal fan was ashamed of that. They may be looking to put that right on Saturday night.”