Newcastle United head to The Emirates Stadium looking for their first win of the season at the 13th attempt in The Premier League to finally reach the escape velocity of victory and all-important three points that have to be gained regularly soon if The Magpies are to survive boosted by Head Coach Eddie Howe's presence in the NUFC dugout:

An entertaining match and improved attacking performance in a 3-3 draw at Brentford at St James' Park last Saturday only brought a point against fellow relegation-battlers The Bees and Newcastle are now 5 points off safety albeit with 76 points left to play for.

Newcastle's record-signing Joelinton was Man of the Match with an electric display in which he rattled in his first goal of the season and wowed the crowd with Brazilian skills on top of his usual bedrock of aerial supremacy and hard work that had every Geordie purring including the club's All-time Top Scorer Alan Shearer who Tweeted:

Yet there was familiar woes at the back after Eddie Howe opted for an attacking 3-4-3 formation and, after taking an early lead, Newcastle went 2-1 down with two goals again conceded down the left-hand side of the defence like against Chelsea, before Joelinton restored parity before Brentford took another lead, with Allan Saint-Maximin rescuing a point that his Brazilian teammate could have turned into all three with a late chance.

Newcastle's attacking approach was the best of the season so far and the first time the team had scored three goals in a game as well as dominating possession with 52%, forcing eight corners and having 23 shots - nine on target - which will have impressed Eddie Howe & his coaching team, who stood in in his Covid-forced absence with Jason Tindall prowling the touchline in the first half interchanging with Graeme Jones.

Yet Newcastle must tighten up at the back if they are going to beat the dreaded drop.

Goalkeeper Karl Darlow let Ivan Toney's equaliser for Brentford squirm under his body and if Martin Dubravka is match-fit them surely he must come in against Arsenal to steady the defence and I would also recall Northern Ireland international Jamal Lewis, who kept a clean sheet against European Champions Italy recently, at left back or left-wing back depending on formation to stop the shipping of goals down that side.

Isaac Hayden could help shore up Newcastle in defensive midfield with JonJo Shelvey was back to his best in midfield and pulling the strings all match firing some excellent balls towards the trio of attackers and while Callum Wilson was well-marked centrally throughout, Saint-Maximin and Joelinton thrived from wide in the extra space & Ryan Fraser added extra width & threat from the bench assisting the third goal.

Eddie Howe is just finding out about his new players although the methodical manager has been linked with the Newcastle job for such a long time that there's no doubt he'd have done his homework on The Magpies squad in anticipation of such a move opening up so will have some tactics and plans prepared.

It'll be interesting to see what he does at The Emirates against 5th-placed Arsenal, who have scored two less goals than Newcastle but are 14 points better off after 12 games.

Arsenal lost to Brentford in the opening game of the season although it was somewhat of a anomalous result as both first-choice strikers Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Alexander Lacazette were out injured plus influential midfield general Thomas Partey.

The Gunners, after a stuttering start to the campaign which had the familiar Arteta Out cries from the impatient among the Arsenal fanbase, were in a rich vein of form until the 4-0 reverse at Liverpool last weekend with four wins in a row and unbeaten in 10 matches but were brought back down to earth at a very difficult Anfield this season.

In his pre-match presser, Mikel Arteta paid tribute to Jurgen Klopp's excellent Liverpool side and hinted at making changes for the Newcastle game with the likes of Kieran Tierney, Martin Odegaard and Ainsley Maitlan-Niles potentially returning for The Gunners from a full squad to choose from except Granit Xhaka and Sead Kosalinac.

The Arsenal boss played down any fears that The Gunners would lose players to newly-moneyed Newcastle after attacker Nicolas Pepe was linked with a January move and welcomed the idea of Arsene Wenger's return in some capacity to work at Arsenal:

Jason Tindall took Newcastle's press conference as scheduled despite Eddie Howe's anticipated return to the dugout following his Covid diagnosis last week and had to repeatedly deflect questions about whether Howe had isolated for the required 10 days.

On football matters, Howe's deputy spoke very well and positively about the Newcastle squad's attitude and performance to training after a pleasing first game against Brentford and that Dwight Gayle was the only fresh injury doubt within the squad as he welcomed the return of 'leader' Howe:

Refreshingly, Tindall was upbeat about Newcastle's chances at The Emirates insisting Newcastle were travelling to London with the intention of winning the game so The Toon's new trident - Allan Saint-Maximum, Callum Wilson and Joelinton - who along with Joe Willock was spoken of in glowing terms:

will be ready to attack The Gunners and bring 3 points back to Newcastle:

Prediction - Newcastle 3 Arsenal 2

Potential Line-Ups: