Eddie Howe will finally be on the touchline as Newcastle manager today.

The 43-year-old has tested negative for COVID, meaning he can now be in attendance when the Magpies face Arsenal.

Newcastle looked a lot better against Brentford last week, but some big problems still remained.

But will Howe make any changes to his starting XI?

Eddie Howe will be on the touchline for the first time as Newcastle manager
(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)


Martin Dubravka in, Karl Darlow out

Karl Darlow received a lot of criticism for his performance against Brentford. The goalkeeper was at fault for Brentford’s opening goal, and let himself down in the build-up to their third.

While he is still a solid goalkeeper, now is the time to recall Martin Dubravka.

The Slovakian hasn’t featured for the Magpies since the final day of last season, and his presence has been sorely missed.

Martin Dubravka should replace Karl Darlow in goal for Newcastle
(Photo by Will Matthews/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Dubravka is without a doubt our best goalkeeper. He’s a leader at the back, and much better with his feet than Darlow.

Making a change in goal should be an easy decision for Howe.

One change in defence

Howe went with a back five last week, and is likely to continue with the same system against Arsenal.

Matt Ritchie and Jacob Murphy played as wing-backs, and we expect the latter to drop out.

We predict Jacob Murphy will be dropped for the game against Arsenal
(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

While the 26-year-old was alright against Brentford, he often struggled defensively. And against stronger opposition, Howe may be tempted to go with a more orthodox defender.

Therefore, Javi Manquillo could make his first appearance under the new manager. The Spaniard has the energy to get up and down the flank, as we saw at Old Trafford where he scored earlier in the season.

More of the same from Newcastle’s front three

Newcastle’s forward line were very threatening last week. The trio of Allan Saint-Maximin, Callum Wilson and Joelinton caused Brentford a plethora of problems.

Newcastle's front three played very well last time out
(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Howe will be hoping they can have the same impact at the Emirates.

Joelinton is the talk of the town right now, and will want to continue the wave of positivity in the capital.

Predicted XI vs Arsenal: Dubravka; Schar, Lascelles, Clark; Manquillo, Shelvey, Willock, Ritchie; Joelinton, Wilson, Saint-Maximin.

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