Gabriel Martinelli starts as Hector Bellerin returns – Arsenal predicted XI vs Newcastle United


As the season draws to a close there is still much to play for Arsenal, with attentions turning to St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon when the Gunners face Newcastle.

Mikel Arteta’s side were defeated 2-1 by Villarreal on Thursday night in a Europa League semi-final first leg which showcased many of their defensive deficiencies.

But they will be hoping to get back on track with a confidence-boosting result against Steve Bruce’s side, who most recently secured an impressive point against Liverpool at Anfield.

“From the position they’re in, they’re going to come at us, they’re a really organised team, they’ve been playing much better recently so it will be tough,” said Arteta ahead of the game.


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“The amount of games that we are playing, every team has the capacity to make it difficult for you.”

One player who won’t be involved is Joe Willock, who has become an important player for the Magpies since joining on loan from Arsenal in January.

Willock’s goals have been worth eight points to Newcastle so far although he hasn’t started regularly under Bruce.

Meanwhile, Arteta is likely to make several changes for Sunday’s game.

Hector Bellerin could come back in at right-back, while David Luiz will most likely return as he looks to refine his match sharpness ahead of the semi-final second leg on Thursday.

Kieran Tierney will have a good chance of starting at left-back after his return to full fitness, while Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey are likely to start in midfield.



Kieran Tierney participated in Wednesday's training session at London Colney. (Image: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images).
Kieran Tierney participated in Wednesday’s training session at London Colney. (Image: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images).

Willian hasn’t been involved for a few games and Arteta may see this as a game where he can impact proceedings.

And the clamour for Gabriel Martinelli to start could provide the perfect opportunity for the Brazilian to feature from the off on Sunday.

At 3pm today until 11:59pm on Monday, all sports channels across the entire Reach network, including football.london, will join the boycott of social media as part of the campaign against online hate.

So far this season players at all of the capital’s top-flight clubs have been subject to horrendous abuse – from Arsenal’s Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Willian to Tottenham’s Son Heung-min, Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham and Reece James to Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha.

No dressing room has been spared this disgusting plague. Enough is enough.

That is why the Premier League, FA, Kick It Out and Women’s Super League have been joined by clubs up and down the country as well as organisations from cricket, rugby, cycling and horse racing in staging the boycott. Above all they want the social media platforms to take more responsibility for keeping hate out of our sport.

As journalists this is not a decision we take lightly but we believe it is important that Reach titles add their voices to the calls for greater action against the epidemic of online hate and be a force for good in the communities we serve.

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is not completely fit yet which means Alexandre Lacazette is favourite to lead the line upfront.

Predicted Arsenal XI: Leno, Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Partey; Willian, Martinelli, Saka; Lacazette.





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