BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson has said that there is no other side Arsenal would rather be playing than Newcastle United ahead of the two side’s clash on Saturday.
The Magpies have been on a dreadful run of form in recent weeks, having gone on a winless run stretching eight matches, with Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat to Everton compounding their misery.
During their unwanted streak they have managed to pick up just one point from a possible 24 thanks to a 2-2 draw against West Brom, and now sit just one point and two places off Crystal Palace in the last of the relegation spots.
Arsenal have also struggled in their last couple of games, with a 0-0 stalemate against West Ham in midweek following a frustrating 1-1 draw away at Southampton, which has left the Gunner sitting in seventh, behind surprise package of the season Burnley.
Now, Lawrenson has delivered the damning verdict that Newcastle would likely be most sides’ choice to play right now, and is expecting Arsene Wenger’s side to go to town on a side lacking in confidence.
Predicting a 3-0 win for the Gunners, Lawrenson wrote on BBC Sport’s website: “Arsenal, well they are wobbling a bit with two points from their past three games.
“But, if you are having a hiccup like that, the team you want to play next is the one on a run like Newcastle are – which is why I am going for a Gunners win here.
“Magpies boss Rafa Benitez has been trying to change things, without success.
“The outcome is still the same, and it is usually a defeat – they have picked up only one point from their past eight games and are sliding towards the relegation zone.
“Their results have been so bad they are in a situation now where they somehow have to find a way to stop the rot.”
Newcastle have not managed to pick up a win against Arsenal since 2010, an Andy Carroll goal separating the two sides, while the north London side have picked up victory in each of the last nine matches between the clubs.
In other Newcastle United news, a panel of Sky Sports pundits have been unanimous in their verdict on the Magpies’ survival hopes.