Arteta makes 3 changes, Lacazette dropped: Arsenal’s predicted XI to face Newcastle

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With the mid-season winter break now over, all eyes will be back on Premier League action.

For Mikel Arteta, the couple of weeks away no doubt gave him precious time with his Arsenal players to work on a few things and get his ideas across a bit more clearly.

That extra time will surely stand the Gunners in good stead heading into their clash with Newcastle at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon.

Despite there still being a couple of absentees from injuries – the likes of Kieran Tierney and Calum Chambers for example – the Arsenal head coach appears to have a strong squad to choose from.

Below is a look at how the north London side might line up.

In front of first-choice goalkeeper Bernd Leno, Daviz Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi should be given the chance to impress as a centre-back partnership once again following their shut-out against Burnley.

That will mean the Gunners’ loan signing of Pablo Mari will have to wait a little longer to make his debut for the club, with the Europa League tie against Olympiacos in mid-week a potential place for him to do so.

The north London side also confirmed Bukayo Saka has shaken off the knock that caused him to go off at half-time at Turf Moor last time out, whilst Hector Bellerin should keep his place on the opposite flank at right-back.

Arteta could opt to bring in Lucas Torreira for Matteo Guendouzi in central midfield, and thereby partner Granit Xhaka – a player who has remarkably turned around his career at the Emirates.

Further ahead, Mesut Ozil’s inclusion in the starting line-up continues to baffle, with the German still failing to find the back of the net this season. A home game against Newcastle should surely tempt Arteta into handing Dani Ceballos a chance to shine in the number ten role.

And with Alexandre Lacazette unfortunately out of form at the moment – he has not scored in his last eight Premier League matches – the Gunners boss may finally axe him from the line-up. That could see Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang move into a central role, with Gabriel Martinelli and the returning Nicolas Pepe out wide.


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