Newcastle v Arsenal: Expect goals at St James' Park

With both teams better in attack than defence, Dave Tindall is expecting goals when Newcastle host Arsenal on Sunday...

Magpies' flight to safety almost complete

The Premier League's six-game form table shows Newcastle in eighth spot after just one defeat in the last six.

And that recent revival has lifted them up to 16th in the actual table with the same number of points as 14th-placed Burnley.

Everyone connected with Newcastle won't be presuming anything yet but they're nine points clear of faltering Fulham who occupy the final relegation slot.

Last time out Steve Bruce's men showed their new-found improvement by holding Liverpool to a 1-1 draw at Anfield.

They took some punches in the first half but by the end a Newcastle equaliser seemed almost inevitable and they were unlucky not to have scored before Joe Willock's injury-time leveller after Callum Wilson had a 'goal' chalked off for a controversial handball.

With some key men back and finding a groove, logic says the hosts can now improve their terrible record against Sunday's visitors.

Table says Arsenal are average

What could be a tricky fixture has turned into an automatic three points for the Gunners in recent years.

The eye-popping head-to-head stats show Arsenal with 15 wins out of the last 16, the only exception a 2-1 loss in 2018.

Filtering the form to matches played at St James' Park and Arsenal have lost just three of the last 22. They've won 11 of those and drawn eight.

However, take away that historical dominance and, on current form, Arsenal deserve to be underdogs.

In their last nine games in all competitions, they've won just twice - at basement club Sheffield United and away to Slavia Prague.

They head north after back-to-back defeats against Everton and Villarreal.

A glance at the standings and the opinion/accusation of Arsenal being no more than a mid-table side is justified: they're 10th, a point above Aston Villa in 11th.

Gunners will have strong focus on Europe

Despite Newcastle's upturn in form the market still favours the visitors.

Arsenal are 2.16 to bank all three points, Newcastle are 3.7 while The Draw is 3.65.

Clearly, Newcastle have some history to overcome but a big key here surely is the fact that the game comes between Arsenal's two Europa League semi-finals.

Their Premier League campaign is dead but that's not the case in Europe where they have strong hopes of progressing to the final after a narrow 2-1 defeat to Villarreal in the first leg.

The overall record of English teams playing in matches like this is poor; understandably, they have one eye on the return match in Europe.

That has to be a factor here and makes the Gunners look very dodgy betting material.

Goals makes appeal

Over 2.5 goals has landed in six of Newcastle's last eight home games and I fancy that run to extend to seven in nine on Sunday.

Newcastle's last two home games have seen a 3-2 win over West Ham and a 2-2 draw with Spurs and their creativity and goal threat has gone up several notches.

Arsenal can play their part too as five of their last six away domestic/European outings have gone over 2.5. In fact, the goal tallies were 4, 2, 4, 6, 3, 4.

Right now, both teams have goals in them but struggle to keep clean sheets. It looks a good recipe for the count to climb high.

In which case I'll back Over 3.5 goals at 3.2.

Wilson looks good Bet Builder option

Callum Wilson was cruelly denied against Liverpool but I'll back the striker to get his goal this time.

The striker has actually scored in each of his first three appearances against Arsenal and, after returning to fitness, he looks ready to bang in another and add to his tally of 10 Premier League goals this season.

I don't think Newcastle lose this one so a good Bet Builder option is Wilson to score anytime, Over 3.5 goals and Newcastle And Draw Double Chance at approx. 8.0.

Opta Stat

Newcastle have kept just one clean sheet in their last 20 Premier League home games, doing so in a 0-0 draw with Liverpool in December. The Magpies have both scored and conceded in their last eight home league games, and are unbeaten in their last five at St James' Park (W2 D3).

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