Arsenal will begin their Premier League campaign with a trip to St. James’ Park as they are set to face Newcastle United on Sunday.
The Gunners showed their intent to get back into the Champions League and to challenge for major titles by making some big-name signings late in the transfer window.
Unai Emery’s men will be desperate to begin their new season on an emphatic note, and will target a win against Steve Bruce’s side.
Arsenal team news
Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac will not be available this weekend as the police are investigating further security incidents after the pair were targeted by car-jackers last month in north London. Nicolas Pepe is not expected to start as he lacks match fitness and hasn’t had too many session with his teammates, while Hector Bellerin, Emile Smith Rowe, Rob Holding, Konstantinos Mavropanos are all sidelined as they are on the treatment table.
Kieran Tierney is still recovering from his groin injury, and is expected to be out for four to six weeks. However, Mohamed Elneny could feature despite his involvements with the Egyptian national side at the AFCON. Dani Ceballos picked up a knock following a tackle on him by Clement Lenglet when Arsenal faced Barcelona, and the Spanish midfielder might not be rushed into the starting lineup so soon by Emery.
Meanwhile, striker Alexandre Lacazette is expected to be available against the Magpies as Emery is hopeful of his return in time following the Frenchman’s ankle injury, which he sustained against Lyon during a pre-season friendly.
Predicted Arsenal lineup vs Newcastle United (4-2-3-1)
Bernd Leno is set to start in goal, and is the Gunners’ first-choice custodian. Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Nacho Monreal could start as the full-backs with Tierney and Bellerin unavailable.
Emery might be inclined to go with Sokratis and Calum Chambers in the central defence. Although Emery has David Luiz in the squad now, the Brazilian hasn’t had much time with his new teammates.
Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira are expected to start in the central midfield and with many of his key players unavailable for the upcoming fixture, Emery might use Joe Willock as the central attacking midfielder.
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan will bring industry and creativity down the flanks, and could get the nod to start.
Lacazette is likely to start up top and he will aim to hit the ground running once again.