We kick off the new year with a top-of-the-table clash against Newcastle United, who are looking to do what no other team has yet to achieve in the league this season – beat us at Emirates Stadium.
Victory over Leeds would have allowed Newcastle to move level on points with Man City, but the Magpies remain on the final podium spot entering 2023 – only two behind the reigning champions and nine adrift of Arsenal, both of whom have a game in hand – so the two teams on the Emirates turf could occupy first and second place if Howe’s side get the job done on Tuesday.
While there was a sense of missed opportunity on Saturday, Howe’s side have still posted just the one defeat in league action this term – even then Liverpool only scraped a 2-1 Anfield win right at the death – and they are unbeaten in their last 12 top-flight games since that August beating.
But since October, they have won nine of their 11 league matches as well as progressing to the Carabao Cup quarter-finals, spearheaded by the goals of the red-hot Miguel Almiron. Having entered the World Cup break in third place, a 3-0 victory at Leicester City was followed by goalless draw at home to Leeds United on New Year’s Eve, ending a six-match winning run.
We could potentially clinch an eighth-straight home win at the start of a campaign for the first time in our history against a side who haven’t taken three points from their visits to N5 since 2010, have lost in each of their past 11 visits and haven’t scored away from home against us since 2014.
No team in Premier League history has lost the title after collecting 16 points from 43 games, and those in red and white are just starting to believe that little bit more by the week, as Mikel Arteta’s young guns continue to defy pre-season expectations.
Eddie Nketiah, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard were all on target at the Amex fortress against Brighton, who responded in kind through Kaoru Mitoma and Evan Ferguson in a nail-biting finale, where Mitoma had another goal ruled out for a marginal offside.
Arteta admitted that his side did little to stem the flow of Brighton’s eye-catching response, but a 14th top-flight win of the season – coupled with Manchester City dropping points against Everton – allowed the Gunners to enjoy their midnight celebrations seven points clear at the top of the table.
With the champions not in action until Thursday’s battle with Chelsea, Arsenal – who are the only Premier League team with a 100% home record still intact – could remarkably extend their lead into double figures on Tuesday night, thereby silencing a few more doubters of their title credentials.
While an astounding 10-game winning run on home soil is nothing to be scoffed at, only Nottingham Forest have failed to score against Arsenal at the Emirates during that hot streak, so a record-equalling 29th clean sheet against Newcastle is far from a guarantee.
However, this is a very different proposition to Newcastle teams of the past, with Eddie Howe’s outfit heading to the capital looking to break a club record by going 13 top-flight games unbeaten for the first time ever.
Arteta on Newcastle: “They are a very good team, really well coached. I think what Eddie has done in a short period of time and you look at the numbers it’s incredible, so big credit to him and the coaching staff.
What Time Is The Match?
The match starts at 7:45pm GMT
United States of America
Eastern time: 2:45pm ET
Pacific time: 11:45am PT
Central time: 1:45pm CT
Kick-off is at 1:15am IST (Wednesday)
Kick-off is at 5:45am AEST (Wednesday)
The transformation since Newcastle’s takeover and the subsequent appointment of Howe towards the end of 2021 has been breathtaking. Having won none of their first 14 games last term, the newly-appointed boss turned his side’s fortunes around by winning 12 of the final 18 matches of the campaign to take his team to 11th.
They have maintained that form this term, starting the campaign with one win, five draws and their solitary defeat so far – a controversial stoppage-time loss at Liverpool – coming from their opening eight games.