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Newcastle vs Arsenal: Aubameyang to bring down Magpies in opener

Newcastle vs Arsenal Match Preview and Predictions

Arsenal get their Premier League campaign up and running at Newcastle where Steve Bruce replaces Rafael Benitez as manager.

[All odds correct at time of publication] 

The Gunners twice threw away the chance of Champions League football last season by winning just one of their last five games to finish one point behind fourth-placed Tottenham and then losing the Europa League final to Chelsea.

Newcastle were tipped by some to go down last season, but eight home wins and four on the road saw them finish safely in 13th place.

Match information

When is it? Sunday August 11th

What time is kick-off? 14:00

Where is it being played? St James' Park

Which channel is it on? Sky Sports Premier League

Who is the referee? Martin Atkinson

Newcastle vs Arsenal Betting Tips

Here are our best tips for Sunday's match for which we also have a range of other markets available:

The lowdown

Arsenal prepared for the new campaign with a few high-profile friendlies, drawing 2-2 with Real Madrid in the International Champions Cup and wrapping up their pre-season with a 2-1 defeat by Barcelona despite Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang giving the Londoners a half-time lead.

The Gunners' record signing Nicolas Pepe, a £72million capture from Lille, was absent for that game and is unlikely to start at St James' Park because of his involvement with the Ivory Coast at the African Cup of Nations. Fellow new signings David Luiz and Kieran Tierney are also set to miss out.

Alexandre Lacazette has been nursing an ankle injury and is also unlikely to feature but we still fancy the visitors to win and are jumping on an Odds Boost of Arsenal winning 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 at 9/4 as the first of our Newcastle vs Arsenal predictions.

The Gunners have won by one of those scorelines in six of the last seven encounters between these sides and optimism is high at the Emirates, unlike on Tyneside.

First goalscorer tips

With Lacazette likely to be out of the picture, the way looks clear for Aubameyang to break the deadlock at 7/2 in the first goalscorer odds.

The Gabon striker found the net against both Real Madrid and Barcelona in pre-season and was the Premier League's joint top scorer last season with 24 goals.

This weekend's best bets

If you're interested in football accumulators, check out our regular betting columns:

Anytime goalscorer tips

The onus to score goals has fallen on the shoulders of Joelinton following Ayoze Perez's move to Leicester and if the Brazilian striker can reproduce his pre-season form in the Premier League, Newcastle fans will be very happy.

The £40million signing from Hoffenheim scored in the wins against Hibernian and St Etienne, and his impressive start to life with the Geordies means he looks an interesting prospect at 13/5 in the anytime goalscorer odds.

Feature match previews for this weekend

If you're interested in tips on our feature matches for the weekend, check out our in-depth previews below:

Where the game will be won or lost

Arsenal's miserable away form last season, during which they won just seven of their 19 games, cost them a place at Europe's top table and that's an area Unai Emery must address if they are to finish in the top four this time round.

The Gunners often left themselves with too much to do after the break and it took until February for them to be leading at half-time in a 2-1 win at Huddersfield.

We'll delay passing judgement until we've seen how Emery's side fares in the early stages of the campaign and go for Draw HT/Arsenal FT at 37/10 as the next of our predictions for Sunday's match which was the case in the Gunners' first four away victories of last season, including a 2-1 win at Newcastle.

We wrap up our newcastle vs Arsenal betting tips by going for a 2-1 win for the visitors at 8/1 which has been the outcome in two of the last four matches between the teams at St James' Park.

Arsenal have beaten the Magpies by a one-goal margin in five of their last seven contests and the hosts lost by that scoreline in their first three home fixtures last season, all against top-six sides.

Team news

Newcastle midfielder Matt Ritchie will be available provided he does not suffer a reaction to his return to training after injury.

The Scotland international has been struggling with a hamstring problem picked up during pre-season but is back in business, unlike full-back DeAndre Yedlin (groin) and striker Dwight Gayle (calf), who remain on the sidelines along with defender Florian Lejeune (knee).

New head coach Steve Bruce could hand competitive debuts to summer signings Joelinton, Allan Saint-Maximin and Jetro Willems. However, full-back Emil Krafth only trained with the squad for the first time on Friday, while fellow deadline-day acquisition Andy Carroll is lacking match fitness.

Arsenal could be without up to 10 players when they travel to the north east.

New signing Kieran Tierney (groin) will not make his bow while there are doubts over fellow recent recruits Dani Ceballos (ankle), David Luiz and Nicolas Pepe (both fitness).

Alexandre Lacazette has returned to training after suffering an ankle injury in the Emirates Cup defeat to Lyon but could also be absent, with Konstantinos Mavropanos and Emile Smith Rowe (both groin), Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding (both knee) and Mohamed Elneny (fitness) all likely to miss out.

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Warren Barner
@warren_barner in Football