‘Could get messy’ - Paul Merson makes confident Arsenal v Newcastle United claim

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Arsenal v Newcastle United: The Magpies are unbeaten in February but face one of the toughest away games in the Premier League.

Paul Merson believes Newcastle United could be ‘destroyed’ by Arsenal on Saturday night as he tips his former side to run-out comfortable winners at the Emirates Stadium. The Magpies are unbeaten in five games in all competitions, however, they have been defensively vulnerable during that time having conceded 17 goals in five Premier League outings this calendar year.

The Gunners, meanwhile, have won five straight league games, scoring 21 goals in the process. However, they were surprisingly beaten by Porto in the Champions League during midweek and suffered a loss at St James’ Park in the reverse fixture back in November.

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Despite this, Merson doesn’t anticipate Mikel Arteta’s side to have any problems against Newcastle on Saturday night. In his weekly predictions column on Sportskeeda, Merson is predicting a 3-1 win for Arsenal and believes that Bukayo Saka could have ‘a field day’.

Merson wrote: “Arsenal suffered a big blow last night. They last won a European trophy 30 years ago. It just shows you how hard European competitions really are – you need the experience. They had a lot of the ball away from home, but they didn’t really know what to do with it. I’m not sure why they changed the away-goals rule – you’re now going to get games like this because teams will go into a shell in their away matches.

“I don’t think their European setback will affect Arsenal this weekend. Newcastle have been inconsistent recently but have managed to remain unbeaten in their last five matches. They’re scoring goals, but they’re conceding far too many goals as well. They cannot go to Arsenal this weekend and defend like that – they’ll get destroyed.

“Newcastle’s defence is struggling at the moment, but they don’t have much to play for. I like watching them play because they open games up, but they don’t want to do that against Arsenal – it could get messy. Bukayo Saka could have a field day in this fixture, and I expect Arsenal to win this game comfortably.”

Howe’s side currently sit 8th in the table and are one point behind Brighton above them. The Seagulls host Everton on Saturday afternoon.

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