3 Head-To-Head Battles That Will Decide Newcastle Vs Arsenal

Both sides are desperate for a victory - but where will this game be won and lost?

Heading into an international break, Newcastle United vs Arsenal takes on an added importance due to the fact that the Magpies are yet to win a Barclays Premier League game yet this season, while the Gunners' title challenge looks in danger of faltering already. After securing a first win as Newcastle boss in the Capital One Cup Second Round against Northampton Town on Tuesday night, now Steve McClaren is looking for his opening Barclays Premier League victory. So far this season, Newcastle have drawn 2-2 at home to Southampton, been soundly beaten 2-0 away at Swansea City, and earned a hard-fought point via a goalless draw at Old Trafford against Manchester United. However, the Magpies face one of their bogey teams next in the league, with Arsenal visiting St James' Park on Saturday lunchtime (12.45pm kick-off). The Gunners themselves have had a somewhat disappointing start to the campaign, with Arsene Wenger's men claiming just four points from their opening three fixtures despite being touted by many as genuine title contenders this season. A surprising 2-0 home loss to West Ham United in Arsenal's opening fixture was followed by a 2-1 victory against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, and then Liverpool left The Emirates with a point on Monday night. Can Newcastle earn McClaren a first Premier League victory as Toon boss this weekend? Or will Arsenal get their title challenge back on track? Here, look at three head-to-head battles that will help to decide the outcome of Newcastle United vs Arsenal...

NUFC editor for History graduate (University of Edinburgh) and NCTJ-trained journalist. I love sports, hopelessly following Newcastle United and Newcastle Falcons. My pastimes include watching and attending sports matches religiously, reading spy books and sampling ales.