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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Newcastle v Arsenal: Premier League – live! | Premier League

34 min: With all that in mind, it is fair to acknowledge the job that Howe has done in recent months. Yes, they spent a lot of money in January, but only three of those signings start today. Bruno Guimaraes (for admittedly big bucks), Burn (a snip at £13m) and Targett (on loan). That’s pretty good going, to go from where they were to bossing Arsenal with nearly 80% possession.

32 min: Newcastle have had 79% possession in the last 10 minutes. Imagine writing that sentence in 2021.

30 min: Saka, though, has been Arsenal’s sole threat going forward. The English winger has cut in a couple of times dangerously from the right flank but has either been crowded out or shot weakly at Dubravka.

28 min: Tomiyasu needs Saka to tuck in for now. Saint-Maximin is in the mood tonight.

25 min: A break in play, as Callum Wilson has a head injury. Eeeeeeeesh, it’s tooth/teeth issue. He appears to have lost a few of them in a challenge. Not pretty! He’s OK to continue, but I wouldn’t want to watch him eat dinner later.

Newcastle United’s Callum Wilson receives medical attention after damaging a tooth.
Eeeeeeeesh indeed. Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images/Reuters

22 min: “A yellow card to an Arsenal central defender after eight minutes, so as night follows day, that means a red card before half time,” emails Richard Hirst.

Worth noting that with Everton receiving two red cards in their defeat to Brentford, they have now moved two clear of Arsenal (with 104) at the top of the all-time standings (in the Premier League era).

20 min: Arteta’s mood has not improved. Perhaps one of the physios can give his shoulders a massage. They are hunched up around his ears at present, as though he’s bracing himself for a firework.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta reacts.
And streeetch. Photograph: Peter Powell/EPA

18 min: Double chance for Newcastle! Saint-Maximin sends Tomiyasu for a Newcastle Brown on the left flank, the Magpies recycle play and cut through Arsenal’s defence on the right: Krafth rasping cross-shot towards the back post. Ramsdale gets an unconvincing hand on it and the ball breaks … Gabriel is there to tidy up. It wasn’t a goal-line clearance but if the ball broke to someone in black and white, it would have been an open goal. Newcastle come roaring back, with Joelinton Cruyff-turning his way out of trouble on the edge of Arsenal’s box before seeing his fierce drive blocked by White.

16 min: Wilson and Gabriel get in a tangle near the corner flag. The Arsenal defender looks a little rattled. Arteta watches on, in his normal jittering manner.

14 min: Bruno Guimaraes is good at football, isn’t he?

12 min: Arsenal are wandering around with all the urgency of Benny Fazio on a construction site. Newcastle, with nothing left to play for this season, have all the play so far.

10 min: Wilson spearheads the next Newcastle atttack. The home side are bossing this, but the striker is just offside as he breaks into the plentiful space between Arsenal’s back line and goal. Arsenal need to get hold of the ball for a second. A huge cheer goes up as Longstaff makes a strong sliding tackle on Tavares. Oooof.

8 min: Yellow card for White, who makes a clumsy tackle on the edge of Arsenal’s box. A dangerous ball is whipped to the back post, but no meaningful contact on the ball sees it bounce out for a goal kick.

6 min: Ramsdale dithers on the ball and it’s SO close to a Newcastle opener! Wilson closes the keeper down, but the ball deflects straight to White who desperately boots the ball upfield. That so easily could have nestled in the Arsenal net.

5 min: Arsenal win a corner but Dubravka punches clear.

2 min: Ramsdale slips as he clears the ball but the ball flies to safety.

An email from Charles Antaki: “As far as feelings go, I confess as an Arsenal fan I have a Bad Feeling about this one, much as I had a Bad Feeling for the majority of Arsenal’s games this season, so no change there. The only time I didn’t have Bad Feeling was ahead of the three easy games against Palace, Brighton and Southampton, and look what happened there. So maybe I should gird my loins and conjure up some sort of Good Feeling, though I suspect that’s going to end up as a Bad Feeling one way or another.”

Peeeeeeeep, and we’re off at St James’ Park!

The Newcastle fans get their tifo going as the players line up prior to kick-off.
The Newcastle fans get their tifo going as the players line up prior to kick-off. Photograph: Peter Powell/EPA
Magpie fans display a tifo in the stands with an illustration of the Newcastle United team and owners.
Impressive artwork. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

There is another football match of note happening tonight … you can join John Brewin for that, with things poised nicely at 1-1 after the first leg.

Soooooooo, Callum Wilson starts for the hosts and is also handed the captain’s armband – he’ll play ahead of newly named player of the season, Joelinton. We didn’t see that coming at the start of the season.

For Arsenal, one Brazilian, Gabriel, is actually fit enough to start at the centre of defence (which means Tomiyasu can play right back), another Brazilian, Gabriel (Martinelli), is only fit enough for the bench, which means Emile Smith Rowe comes into the side. White, who had missed the previous three games with a hamstring problem, also comes in.

I don’t know why but I’ve got the feeling that ESR is going to play a big part tonight.

A Newcastle United fan is seen wearing a shirt picturing Newcastle United’s Joelinton and hat of Bruno Guimaraes outside the stadium.
Joelinton doesn’t only have the honour of being the Magpies’ player of the season, he fizzog is gracing the funky shirt of a number of fans. The beaming face of his teammate Bruno Guimaraes can be found on their hats. Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images/Reuters

Team news

Newcastle: Dubravka, Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett, Longstaff, Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton, Almiron, Wilson, Saint-Maximin.
Subs: Dummett, Lascelles, Ritchie, Trippier, Fernandez, Fraser, Murphy, Darlow, Gayle.

Arsenal: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tavares, Elneny, Xhaka, Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe, Nketiah.
Subs: Leno, Lacazette, Cedric, Pepe, Sambi Lokonga, Martinelli, Oulad M’hand, Swanson, Patino.

Referee: Darren England (South Yorkshire)

Preamble

For Arsenal, the maths is pretty simple. Win tonight, and they are in the box seat to qualify for the Champions League ahead of their biggest rivals, Spurs. Anything but victory in the north-east, and Spurs will carry an advantage heading into the final day of the season on Sunday, with a vastly superior goal difference.

Newcastle away is not the fixture Mikel Arteta would have chosen for Arsenal’s penultimate game. The Magpies technically have nothing to play for, having secured their Premier League status for next season, but St James’ Park under the lights is rarely apathetic: the crowd are an understandably excitable bunch and with a host of summer signings on the horizon, the current crop of players will be keen to stake their claim for a starting berth next season.

To make matters worse, the Gunners’ backline will be threadbare, with an injured Gabriel joining the suspended Rob Holding as the newest absentees. Martinelli was also seen hobbling just before his 64th-minute substitution in the derby defeat at Spurs. It remains to be seen whether the Brazilian will start tonight.

The game is a mouthwatering prospect. Join me for a 8pm BST kick-off!

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