Mark Lawrenson slams 'negative' Newcastle United and makes Arsenal scoreline prediction
Writing in his latest predictions column for BBC Sport, pundit Mark Lawrenson backed a comfortable 2-0 win for the hosts.
Justifying his prediction, the ex-Liverpool defender claimed: "These two teams met in the FA Cup last week, when Arsenal needed extra time to get through. I don't expect the Gunners to make such hard work of a win second time around.
"Newcastle are on a bad run of eight games without a win, and they are not playing well either.
"The Magpies are quite a negative team at the best of times, but they have not been creating very much recently. They were awful in the first half of Tuesday's defeat by Sheffield United, and it feels like if you score first against them, they don't really know what to do."
Lawro continued: "They have not offered much going forward, so I totally understand why their fans are frustrated, but I do have some sympathy for Newcastle boss Steve Bruce.
"When Bruce got the job in July 2019, his remit was to keep Newcastle in the Premier League. That hasn't changed, so you have to look at how he is doing from that perspective."
Meanwhile, Lawro's sparring partner for the weekend fixtures, You Me At Six dummer Dan Flint, opted for a shock 2-1 Magpies win.
The last time the two sides met in the league, back in February last year, the Gunners powered to a 4-0 home win.