Islam Slimani could make first Newcastle start against Arsenal

Aubrey Yates
April 14, 2018

He will hope to have a similar game against Arsenal and will play a supporting role to Joselu, who might replace Dwight Gayle in the first team.

Arsenal managed to get past AC Milan in the Europa League round of 16 before a comfortable aggregate win over CSKA Moscow in the quarter-finals.

"Newcastle will be well aware that they have lost their last 10 Premier League games against the Gunners but I think they will buck that trend at St James's Park on Sunday".

Arsenal's focus may be on the Europa League, but Aubameyang's ineligibility for the competition means he is only focused on the Premier League.

"You don't pick the players because you want to do it - you pick them because they train well or they do well". Despite victories over the likes of Watford, Stoke City and Southampton at the Emirates Stadium in weeks gone by, Wenger has rested some key players; Newcastle will be licking their lips at the prospect of facing them if that is the case once again.

"To come here and play at the level he is playing, you can say it is a surprise". With Aubameyang around, Benitez simply can not rest easy, not that he would anyway.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal Newcastle Premier League
GETTYArsenal remain just two points better off than Burnley following their defeat to Newcastle

Wenger's men can still secure a return to the Champions League after a one-season absence if Arsenal manage to win the Europa League this term.

Newcastle have no fresh injury concerns but could finally give a first start to Islam Slimani, who has barely featured since his loan move from Leicester due to injury and the Magpies facing his parent club last week.

The Gunners will have Mohammed Elneny after his red card against Southampton was overturned by the FA.

They have won their last three matches on the trot and are unbeaten at home in their last seven games, raising the question as to whether Arsenal's miserable away record can stand up to the task. Rafa will have his plans for this game but his side needs to be at its best for them to take anything from this game. Definitely out are Santi Cazorla, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Taking everything into consideration and with little riding on the game, both sides would probably take a draw and that is what will happen.

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