For the final time this season, Christian Crowther matches some bets to the stats for one of the weekend's biggest Premier League clashes...
"Newcastle have won only one of their games on the final day of a Premier League season in their previous 10 campaigns (D5 L4)."
Newcastle v Arsenal (Sunday, 16:00, Sky Sports 1)
Newcastle have won only one of their games on the final day of a Premier League season in their previous 10 campaigns (D5 L4)
Newcastle can thank their lucky stars that Wigan have effectively rendered this a dead rubber for them by surrendering their Premier League status to the same opponents on Tuesday. Not only do the Toon have a shocking last-day record but their stats against Arsenal don't make pleasant reading for Geordie eyes either. Newcastle have won just one of their last 11 Premier League games against Arsenal and, of sides that Newcastle have faced more than twice at St James' Park in the competition, only against Manchester United (21%) have they won a lower proportion of their games than versus the Gunners (28%). In light of these stats and armed with the knowledge that a win will secure them Champions League football, it's hard to see any other outcome than a convincing Arsenal win.
Best Bet: Back Arsenal/Arsenal in Half Time/Full Time @ 7/52.42
Four different Arsenal players (Walcott, Cazorla, Giroud and Podolski) have scored 10 or more goals in the Premier League this season, meaning that the Gunners are only the fourth side in history to have four players reach double figures in a single PL campaign
Without a shadow of a doubt, this Arsenal side has missed the presence and goalscoring prowess of the departed Robin van Persie. However, what will greatly please Arsene Wenger (should they qualify for the Champions League) is the fact that goals have arrived from many different sources rather than relying on one player. After he missed the last three games through suspension, it's unclear whether Arsene Wenger will turn to his compatriot Olivier Giroud from the start against Newcastle, though it seems highly likely that the big striker will feature at some point. Giroud will be chomping to get involved and sign off his first season on a high.
Recommended Bet: Back Olivier Giroud to score @ 13/82.62
Newcastle lost their previous game this season against Arsenal 3-7; the only time that they have conceded seven goals in a Premier League match
Newcastle are facing the unwanted scenario of going a third home Premier League appearance without notching a single goal for the first time since 2007. The last two games at St James' Park left a bitter taste in Toon fans' mouths as a 3-0 whitewash at home to their fiercest rivals Sunderland was followed up by a 6-0 pummelling against Liverpool. While a repeat of that kind of heavyweight scoreline seems unlikely, the facts are that Newcastle have struggled to score many goals at all in the latter part of the season. The Magpies have only scored more than once on one occasion across 11 games in all competitions. Arsenal have triumphed to nil in their last two away matches to boot.
Recommended Bet: Back Arsenal to win to nil @ 85/403.1