Arsenal Team News: starting XI to face Newcastle United in Premier League clash

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will undertake his first game following the winter break, when his team face Newcastle United this afternoon.

The Spaniard has overseen a real improvement at the North London side, both through performances and the points his team have managed to accumulate.

However, the Gunners still sit 11th and just six points off the bottom-three despite only losing one Premier League game under Arteta.

So with three points very much needed, Arteta has some big decisions to make when selecting his starting XI.

We predict Arsenal’s line-up to take on Steve Bruce’s Newcastle….

GK: Bernd Leno

Has been one of Arsenal’s better players this season and has performed very well for the last month or so.

RB: Hector Bellerin 

The return of Hector Bellerin from long-term injury has been a big boost for the club, with the Spaniard also scoring a vital equalising goal away at Stamford Bridge a few weeks ago.

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CB: David Luiz

Despite being unconvincing since his move from Chelsea, the experienced Brazilian seems to be the club’s first-choice centre-back and will no doubt face off against his old club.

CB: Shkodran Mustafi

Arteta seems to have made Mustafi is first-choice man to partner Luiz. In their last outing they manage to keep a clean sheet away at Burnley, despite coming under heavy pressure.

LB: Bukayo Saka

With Kieran Tierney out injured and Sead Kolasinac not match-sharp, Arteta may be forced to play youngster Saka out of position like he has done on numerous occasions since his arrival at the club.

DM: Matteo Guendouzi

Guendouzi has made himself one of the first names on the team sheet and is always full of energy and fight in the Gunners’ midfield.

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CM: Granit Xhaka

With Newcastle notoriously difficult to breakdown, especially away from home, we are expecting Arteta name the more creative Xhaka, ahead of Lucas Torreira.

CM: Mesut Ozil 

For similar reasons as above, we think Ozil will get the nod this afternoon. Often at his best when he is playing between the lines, picking out key passes against a stubborn defence.

FW: Nicolas Pepe

The £72million man has had a tricky start to his Arsenal career but it’s clear to see he has qualities and Arteta may feel this fixture will suit him.

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FW: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Always the first name on the team-sheet as it stands. The Gabon international has 16 goals in all competitions this term and will be aiming to add to that at the Emirates Stadium.

FW: Alexandre Lacazette

The France international, has not been amongst the goals of late, but there’s not doubting his partnership with Aubameyang, meaning he should get the nod this afternoon.

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