Football expert Ben Levene (@BenLevene96) shares his best bets as Newcastle welcome Arsenal to St James’ Park on Sunday.
Newcastle v Arsenal| Sunday 15th April 2018, 13:30 | Sky Sports
Sunday’s early kick-off between Newcastle and Arsenal could play out more interestingly than you’d imagine at first-glance.
The Toon have won three on the bounce and have lost just one of their last eight. Rafa Benitez’s men begin the weekend in the division’s top-half with 38-points and look all but safe. At St James’ Park they are six without defeat, winning three in a row.
With the battle for top-four virtually over, Arsenal have seemingly put all their eggs in the Europa League basket. In the each of the last two league games Wenger has made changes with this in mind. Despite picking up wins, it’s fair to say Arsenal look vulnerable defensively. Going forwards they’ve still performed free-flowingly.
Calum Chambers will likely partner Shkodran Mustafi at the heart of defence, with Mo Elneny and Granit Xhaka shielding in front. Confidence is high at St James’, so maybe the trio of Jonjo Shelvey, Mo Diame with Ayoze Perez in front can get some joy.
With an end of season feel to this game, we could be in for goals. The market clearly appreciates this with Over 2.5 floating at around the 4/6 mark. The Gunners game against Southampton last weekend saw five-goals, including three in the first-half. At 43/25 Over 1.5 first-half goals looks the best play.
I don’t think we can underestimate the possible effects of the Europa League on Arsenal. The likes of Mesut Ozil started on Thursday while Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere picked up light knocks. The Gunners have lost four-consecutive Premier League away matches, winning just one of their last eight. Newcastle are 141/100 in the Draw no Bet market.