Can the Geordies outscore the Gunners?
As the black and white hoards pass the bronze clad wings of the Angel of the North en route to London they might just be saying a little prayer to the Patron Saint of Geordies.
The Toon's record against the Gunners has been far from impressive in recent times, winning just one of their last 15 Premier League meetings with Arsene Wenger's men.
Newcastle's players and fans don't have to look too far back to remember their most recent encounter with Arsenal, only 11 days in fact. The men from the Emirates thumped Newcastle 4-0 in the Carling Cup at St James Park as they continue to field a strong side in the hunt for their first trophy in five years.
The odds for the 90 minute market seem to suggest that a home win should be on the cards here. Arsenal are priced at 3/10 to win the game while Newcastle are a huge 10/1 to take the three points back to Tyneside.
A statistic that could influence the opinions of most punters is that Arsenal have defeated the visiting Geordies by a 3-0 scoreline in all three of their last home matches in all competitions. A 3-0 scoreline at the Emirates would pay out at 15/2.
Since that Carling Cup clash at St James' Park in October both teams have played important matches.
Newcastle took apart their local rivals Sunderland in a comfortable 5-1 derby victory. Such a morale boosting win couldn't have come at a better time for manager Chris Hughton, who had been placed under pressure by the powers that be in the North east. Hughton's men will surely be revitalised by the ease at which they destroyed the Black Cats, just in time for their trip to the capital.
Kevin Nolan was the star of the show against Sunderland, striking a historic hat-trick to take his tally for the season to seven. He is 12/1 to open the scoring against Arsenal and 5/1 to notch anytime. If you believe that Nolan can conjure up another treble this weekend he can be backed at 100/1.
Another Newcastle man who has been in hot form this season is Andy Carroll, and between the two of them they have scored 12 of Newcastle's 19 league goals this season, and Carroll is 11/1 to break the deadlock and 4/1 to open the scoring on Sunday.
Arsenal faced a difficult trip to the Ukraine on Tuesday in the Champions League and only a late Eduardo goal stopped the Gunners from returning with a valuable point. Arsene Wenger was noticeably displeased by the defending for both Shakhtar goals, something which I'm sure he'll want to improve upon this weekend.
A silver lining to the defeat in Donetsk was the performance and goal by Theo Walcott. The England man showed great pace and then composure to put the Gunners ahead before they were pegged back. Walcott was also the chief tormentor of Newcastle in the aforementioned Carling Cup clash, scoring twice. The lightning quick forward is priced at 11/2 to find the net first and 6/4 to score anytime.
Returning from injury will be Arsenal's inspirational skipper Cesc Fabregas. The Spaniard can be backed at 5/4 to make a goal scoring return while midfielder Jack Wilshere is also welcomed back after suspension.
This game strikes me as one that should contain plenty of goals. The over 3.5 in the Total Goals Market appeals to me and at 11/10 could be worth a punt.
When it comes to scoring late goals Arsenal are the masters. They have scored in the last 10 minutes in nine of their last 11 league matches at the Emirates. If you feel they can score in the 76th minute to full time you'll find a price of 21/20.