Monday Night Football is back with a bang, with the battle of the Spaniards; Unai Emery versus Rafa Benitez, as fifth-place Arsenal welcome a 14th-based Newcastle United hoping to push further away from the relegation zone, just for that extra bit of reassurance, to start the week.
Arsenal hold a formidable record at the Emirates, with the Toon arriving in north London knowing that they’ve won on just one single occasion in their last 12 meetings. Arsenal have won their last six home Premier League games against Newcastle, scoring 18 goals and conceding just five.
In a slight boost to the travelling support having the unenviable task of coming down from the North-East on a workday, the 2-1 scoreline Arsenal inflicted back in September was however a reversal of the same result almost exactly a year ago, with Newcastle’s 2-1 win at St. James’ Park marking the only time they’ve taken the three points from the Gunners in nine years (an Andy Carroll header in November 2011 for those desiring reminiscence).
Arsenal have won all six of their home league matches in 2019 and are only one of three of the 92 English league clubs yet to drop a home point this calendar year.
On a streak of procuring victory in each of their last nine league home games, they share that prestige alongside Manchester City and Championship promotion-pushers Sheffield United.
Furthermore, a win over Newcastle on Monday night will emulate a long-standing two-decade record and give Emery another bragging right in his attempts to step sufficiently into the shoes of his predecessor.
Arsenal last won more consecutive league games at home within a single season back in 1997-98, when they won their first league title since 1991 (of course, ain’t going to happen this year folks) in their first full season under Arsène Wenger.
In 2018/19, they hold the third best home record (behind title challengers Manchester City and Liverpool), having lost just once (and drawn twice) this season, that defeat coming in their opening game of the campaign to incumbent champions City. Back-to-back draws with Wolves and Liverpool in November also blot the copybook. 68% of Arsenal’s (60) points have come at home, with 59% of their goals scored also coming at the Emirates.
Before the international break, the Gunners asserted their top-four credentials and gave the Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer-driven juggernaut a puncture with a comfortably impressive 2-0 victory in north London over the Red Devils who had yet to suffer a league defeat under the Norwegian.
Those expecting a big-scoring clash between Arsenal and Newcastle might do well to take note of previous recent form. The last six meetings between the two have also been decided by a one-goal margin (83% of the time in favour of Arsenal), with none of those fixtures heading over the three goals mark. The last time do so was in a 4-1 win for Arsenal in December 2014, with Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla each bagging a brace.
Newcastle will be wary to watch out for one man in particular. Alexandre Lacazette has scored 73% of his Premier League goals for Arsenal in home games, with 19 out of his 26 coming on home turf since the 27-year-old Frenchman made the move from Olympique Lyonnais in the summer of 2017. Lacazette has 12 goals and seven assists this term, more than Toon forwards Ayoze Perez, Joselu, and Yoshinori Muto combined.
Arsenal versus Newcastle United kicks off at 20:00 (GMT) on Monday 1st April 2019.