Newcastle v Arsenal: Magpies can steal a point against drained Gunners

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez.
Can Rafa Benitez inspire his Newcastle side when they host Arsenal?
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Dan Fitch thinks that in-form Newcastle can take advantage against a drained Arsenal side...

"Newcastle have only lost one of their last eight games - away at Liverpool - and have drawn three of these matches."

Back the draw at [3.7]

Newcastle [3.4] v Arsenal [2.28]; The Draw [3.7]
Sunday, 13:30
Live on Sky Sports Main Event

Benitez works miracles with meagre funds

Three straight wins have seen Newcastle rocket up the Premier League table to tenth place and effectively secure their top flight status.

For a promoted team this is quite an achievement with six games of the season still remaining, yet there is little sense that this is an bi-product of Newcastle being a well run club. Instead, Newcastle's lofty position is largely due to the capabilities of their manager Rafa Benitez, who has succeeded despite a lack of investment in his squad.

To put it into perspective, Newcastle's net spend on transfers this season was £11.5m, which was dwarfed by the sums spent by by their fellow promoted clubs, with Huddersfield spending £43.5m and Brighton £53.7m. Newcastle fans must desperately hope for a change in ownership this summer, because Benitez will surely tire of being taken for granted by the owner Mike Ashley.

Benitez does at least have a near fully fit squad to choose from. Only the injured Jesus Gamezis unavailable to him.

Arsenal show resilience in Europa League

Arsenal come into this match having recovered from their earlier problems this season and are now unbeaten in seven matches.

The Gunners showed some resilience this week when they fought back from 2-0 down in their Europa League match at CSKA Moscow, to eventually draw 2-2. Their reward is a semi-final tie against the competition favourites Atletico Madrid.

With the Europa League providing the only realistic path to the Champions League, the Premier League may become less of a priority for Arsene Wenger, though he will be able to pick a strong team for this match, with Arsenal having a week to prepare before their next game.

Aaron Ramsey picked up an injury in the game against CSKA Moscow and will face a fitness test, along with Granit Xhaka. Definitely out are Santi Cazorla, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Draw is overpriced

Arsenal are the [2.28] favourites, with Newcastle at [3.4] and the draw at [3.7].

That's a big price for a draw when you consider the form that Newcastle are in and the fact that Arsenal will be fatigued from their gruelling match in Moscow on Thursday night. Newcastle have only lost one of their last eight games - away at Liverpool - and have drawn three of these matches.

If you fancy the Magpies to sneak a win against tired opposition, then the [1.74] in the Double Chance market or the [2.44] in the Draw No Bet market are both decently priced options.

Goals should flow

Over 2.5 goals is the favourite at [1.74], with unders at [2.22].

Despite their recent unbeaten run, Arsenal have conceded five goals from their last three games. Newcastle have only failed to score in one of their last eight matches, so there should be goals to look forward to, with Both Teams To Score looking very likely to land at [1.62].

Arsenal strikers find form

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been unavailable to play in the Europa League since moving to Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund in January and comes into this match well rested. He's made a flying start in the Premier League with six goals in seven games and is available at [2.0] to add to his tally.

Another in-form Arsenal forward is Danny Welbeck. His last five games have seen the England international score five goals and he can be backed at [3.3] to find the net.

Dan Fitch 2017/18 Season P/L

Staked: 448.00 pts
Returned: 464.37 pts
P/L: +16.37 pts

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