A repeat of the tense season-opener some seven months ago, Newcastle United will travel to the Emirates Stadium at long odds with Bet365, looking to overthrow an in-form Arsenal side in Monday night football.
In the reverse fixture, Gervinho was sent off on his Premier League debut and will be hoping to get revenge over the Magpies this week.
However, the man whom he lashed out upon to earn the red card won’t be around for Gervinho to exact specific revenge with Joey Barton now plying his trade with QPR.
There were nine cards brandished by Peter Walton in the August encounter and while the score finished at a 0-0 stalemate, recent meetings between the two sides have shown to be enticing matches.
Newcastle United famously came back from a 4-0 scoreline last season to draw 4-4 at the then St. James’ Park and neutrals can only hope to see a similar display on Monday.
After a disappointing start to life in 2012, Arsenal have actually made huge improvements since the start of February and are enjoying a five-match unbeaten streak that includes four victories.
The Gunners have leaked goals when playing away from home this season but look a more solid side when at the Emirates Stadium, conceding just 0.85 goals per game on average.
With a talisman like Robin van Persie amongst their ranks it’s no surprise that Arsenal have scored an average of 2.04 goals per game this term but others such as Tomas Rosicky and Theo Walcott have stepped up to the plate in recent games.
Arsene Wenger’s side may have exited the Champions League during the week but managed a 3-0 victory over AC Milan on Tuesday and can take away plenty of positives from the game.
Newcastle are without a win in three games and are in danger of falling off the pace for a Champions League spot if they succumb to the Gunners this week.
Fourth placed Arsenal would go eight points clear of Alan Pardew’s Newcastle United if the home side triumph, making the Magpies chances of European football next season very slim, especially when considering Chelsea managed to beat 10-man Stoke City on Saturday.
The North East outfit have no new injury concerns to worry about but could welcome Haris Vuckic back into the squad after his loan spell with Cardiff City.
Arsenal could see a boatload of players return to action this Monday with Theo Walcott, Andre Santos, Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta, Yossi Benayoun and Kieran Gibbs all in contention to return from varying periods on the sidelines.
Newcastle may be keen to get back to winning ways but the momentum appears to be swinging in the well-timed favour of Arsenal to win this fixture.