The winter break is over, and Newcastle are back in Premier League action against Arsenal.

The Gunners beat us on the opening day of the season, but a lot has changed since then.

Arsenal have a new manager in Mikel Arteta, but are actually on the same number of points as Bruce’s Magpies.

But who will Bruce pick for his first clash with the new Gunners boss?

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Changes at wing-back

Newcastle brought in Danny Rose and Valentino Lazaro in January, but both started on the bench against Norwich.

However, they should start at the Emirates.

DeAndre Yedlin struggled against Norwich, and Rose is obviously a much more accomplished player than Matt Ritchie.

For all of Ritchie’s passion and desire, he’s still a makeshift wing-back, whereas Rose has spent most of his career on the left of defence.


Bentaleb and Hayden must improve

Nabil Bentaleb and Isaac Hayden weren’t great against Norwich, but they should get another chance versus the Gunners.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The Algerian loanee has shown flashes of what he can bring to Newcastle, and should continue to improve as he builds up his match sharpness.

With Jonjo Shelvey not too far off a return, this is an important game for both Bentaleb and Hayden.

Front three need to start clicking

After a few days rest, the usual front three will hopefully feel reinvigorated ahead of the trip to the capital.

Allan Saint-Maximin, Joelinton and Miguel Almiron all did well against Oxford, but it was individual pieces of play rather than combining with teammates.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Against Arsenal, we need to start seeing some chemistry from the trio, like we did at West Ham earlier in the season.

If they can play closer together, that might improve things.

Predicted lineup to face Arsenal: Dubravka; Fernandez, Lascelles, Clark; Lazaro, Bentaleb, Hayden, Rose; Saint-Maximin, Almiron, Joelinton.

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