Newcastle have another tough task following the international break, as Arsenal head to the North East.

The Magpies are currently in the bottom three with just one point. However, they have played well in defeat to Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Arsenal present another tough task, but they are arguably the ‘easiest’ of Newcastle’s games against the Premier League’s elite.

With the pressure on Newcastle to get their first win, how should Rafa Benitez approach the game against the Gunners?

Drop the defensive approach

In their previous two league games, Newcastle have deployed a rigid back five.

Against Arsenal, this can’t be the case. Benitez must move back to a back four, to ensure his side can actually penetrate Arsenal rather than just stifle them.

That means one central defender will have to be dropped. It’s safe to say that Jamaal Lascelles is (almost) guaranteed to start, but his partner isn’t as obvious.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – AUGUST 26: Newcastle defender Federico Fernandez in action on his home debut during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Chelsea FC at St. James Park on August 26, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Ciaran Clark has started every game so far this season, but he should drop out to allow the experienced Federico Fernandez to partner the skipper.

Fernandez has impressed so far in his Newcastle career, proving to be another astute signing.

Injured players returning?

Newcastle have missed Jonjo Shelvey during his absence, so news of his possible return is encouraging.

The number eight should come back into the alongside his partner in crime Mo Diame, who has struggled so far this season. That means Ki Sung-Yueng would drop to the bench, but the South Korean’s time will come later in the season.

Newcastle will need energy in the middle of the park to get about Arsenal, which is why Diame should start.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – MAY 13: Newcastle player Jonjo Shelvey (r) celebrates with goalscorer Ayoze Perez (l) and Mo Diame after the second goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Chelsea at St. James Park on May 13, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

As for Matt Ritchie, he also missed Newcastle’s last game due to injury. The former Bournemouth winger often sets the tempo for the Magpies, and scored the winner against Arsenal last season.

If he’s fit, Ritchie must come back into the team, and would likely replace one of the central defenders and allow Ayoze Perez to move back in the middle.

However, it is reported that Ritchie’s return is less likely, which means there will possibly be a spot up for grabs out wide. A straight fight between Jacob Murphy and Christian Atsu should see the former prosper and start against the Gunners.

Predicted starting XI vs Arsenal: Dubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett; Murphy, Diame, Shelvey, Kenedy; Perez, Rondon

NEWCASTLE, ENGLAND – AUGUST 26: Jacob Murphy of Newcastle United (07) arrives for the Premier League Match between Newcastle United and Chelsea at St.James’ Park on August 26, 2018, in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)