Rafael Benitez surprised with Newcastle's progress

Jamaal Lascelles Defender named captain by Rafa Benitez

Preview: Newcastle United v Arsenal

Egyptian global Mohamed Elneny is on the starting squad of Arsenal in the game which will be hosted by New Castle at St. James' Park stadium at 2:30 p.m. (Cairo local time), during the matches of the 34th round of the Premier League.

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, cup tied in Europe, has provided Arsenal's league campaign with some fresh impetus, scoring five goals in four starts.

An excellent pass from DeAndre Yedlin found its way to Ayoze Perez, and the Spaniard's equaliser came at just the right moment. Arsenal however, are the only side in the Premier League which is yet to pick a point away from home in 2018.

Arsene Wenger hinted that today's Arsenal team may include some rotation to give the players that were in Russian Federation on Thursday a breather, but I wonder just how much of a risk he will take considering that Burnley are still only two points below us in the table.

Matt Ritchie's 68th-minute goal earned the Magpies their fourth straight league win and put them on 41 points with five games remaining, 13 clear of relegation.

Arsenal have won more Premier League games 1-0 against Newcastle than any other opponent.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has named 18-year-old midfielder Joe Willock in his starting XI for Sunday's trip to Newcastle.

Benitez's Newcastle are far from unpredictable; they defend from the front, stay compact and, more often than not, attack by virtue of Jonjo Shelvey's remarkable passing range.

Benitez is fully deserving of his place in the upper half of the Premier League, and when taking into account Newcastle's off-field struggles this season, his ability to maintain their charge warrants more praise. "This year, people say, "Oh, they are not in the Champions League", but they are in the semi-final of the Europa League, so that means something".

"Everyone was pulling in the same direction and I'm really pleased because we played against a really good team".

Arsene Wenger has questioned the Premier League's decision to delay the implementation of video assistant referees after Arsenal were denied a penalty against Newcastle United.

Aubameyang has scored six goals in his first seven games for Arsenal including four in the last four. 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].

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