It’s first vs third in the Premier League, so can Newcastle United be the side who halt the league-leaders’ momentum?
On New Year’s Eve, Arsenal passed another test, prevailing 4-2 at the Amex against Brighton & Hove Albion.
Bukayo Saka broke the deadlock after just 64 seconds, before Martin Ødegaard’s strike and Eddie Nketiah’s tap-in had the Gunners 3-0 up.
Brighton got it back to 3-1, Gabriel Martinelli then restored the three-goal advantage, although, by conceding again, Arsenal were rather hanging on by the end.
Nevertheless, that’s now five Premier League victories on the spin for Mikel Arteta’s team, who’ve taken 28 points from the last 30 available.
This leaves the Gunners seven points clear of Manchester City, looking to extend that gap to ten before the champions’ trip to Stamford Bridge on Thursday.
Newcastle United meantime are third, having lost the joint-fewest games this season (1) alongside their hosts.
The Magpies had won five on the bounce either side of the World Cup, before slightly stalling at the weekend.
Eddie Howe’s team were held to a goalless draw by Leeds at St James’ Park, failing to convert any of their chances.
Nevertheless, the Toon Army remain unbeaten in 14 in league and cup, their sole defeat this season coming in the 96th minute at Anfield in August.
Newcastle have lost their last 11 visits to the Emirates, dating back to 2010, conceding 31 goals in these matches, last scoring at the venue in December 2014.
This though is a different Newcastle United, so can they derail the league-leaders in this huge clash?
Arsenal team news
Mikel Arteta is likely to name an unchanged line-up from Saturday night’s victory in Sussex.
The only change he made ahead of that game was restoring Oleksandr Zinchenko at left-back, with Kieran Tierney dropping out.
Tierney and Takehiro Tomiyasu came on at full-back on the hour mark, but the Japanese defender looked very short of match-fitness.
Emile Smith Rowe will be hoping to be amongst the substitutes; he hasn’t featured since 4 September following groin surgery.
William Saliba and Bukayo Saka are one yellow card away from missing Arsenal’s next league game suspended, the small matter of a North London derby.
Predicted XI (4-1-4-1): Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey, Xhaka, Ødegaard, Saka, Martinelli; Nketiah.
Newcastle United team news
Callum Wilson came off the bench in the 64th minute on Saturday, so could lead the line in place of Chris Wood here.
Alexander Isak’s potential return date is as yet unknown.
In midfield, Joe Willock will feature against the side he made 78 senior appearances for, while Bruno Guimarães scored when these two last met in May.
Joelinton will continue on the left-wing, given that Allan Saint-Maximin hasn’t started since 28 August.
Defenders Fabian Schär and Kieran Trippier would miss the home game with Fulham if booked.
Predicted XI (4-3-3): Pope; Trippier, Botman, Schär, Burn; Willock, S Longstaff, Guimarães; Almirón, Joelinton, Wilson.