Premier League leaders Arsenal will host Newcastle United in their first game of 2023.
The Gunners hammered Brighton 4-2 last time out and enter the new season seven points clear of Manchester City. Never before has a team won the title with such a margin.
They are up against a Newcastle team with lofty ambitions of their own. Eddie Howe’s Magpies are chasing Champions League qualification but their winning run ended in a frustrating 0-0 draw with Leeds at the weekend.
Arsenal team news
Takehiro Tomiyasu returned from injury against Brighton and will likely keep his place on the bench for this one, although there will be no sign of either Gabriel Jesus or Reiss Nelson.
Elsewhere, Emile Smith Rowe is knocking on the door of a return to the first team. He’s back in training but, having not played since early September, there will be no rushing him back into competitive action.
Arsenal predicted lineup vs Newcastle
Arsenal Starting 11 (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Nketiah.
Newcastle team news
The biggest decision for Howe to make comes up top. Chris Wood started against Leeds but Callum Wilson was fit enough to play half an hour and might get the nod from the get-go in such an important game.
Similarly, Allan Saint-Maximin could reclaim his point on the left wing, forcing Joelinton back into midfield.
Alexander Isak, Jonjo Shelvey, Matt Targett, Emil Krafth and Paul Dummett all remain unavailable through various injuries.
Newcastle predicted lineup vs Arsenal
Newcastle Starting 11 (4-3-3): Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Longstaff, Guimaraes, Joelinton; Almiron, Wilson, Saint-Maximin.