Newcastle take on Arsenal in their opening game of the season, and in Joelinton for the Magpies, and David Luiz for the Gunners, both sides have new signings hoping to make an instant impression on their comptetitive debuts.
Newcastle have the ever-exciting Miguel Almiron and new wing wizard Allan Saint-Maximin supporting their £40 million Brazilian striker. How well they link up will be key to how our season goes.
Arsenal have the devastating prospect of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang alongside Pepe as a front three, which will be a worry for any Premier League side this season. But at the back they look a lot less intimidating.
Luiz arrived on the cusp of the transfer deadline, and how he copes with Newcastle’s debutant could have a big say on which way the result goes.
Joelinton has big boots to fill
As if wearing the famous jersey, previously worn by the likes of Alan Shearer, Jackie Milburn and Malcolm MacDonald, is not pressure enough, Joelinton has to follow up the success of last year’s number nine – Salomon Rondon.
Rondon scored 11 goals from 32 Premier League appearances last season, but it was his all-round holding play that made him Newcastle’s player of the season last campaign.
Joelinton will be hoping to at least match his goal tally, and if he can emulate his predecessor with his work outside the box, there is no reason why he cannot achieve similar status with the fans.
An exciting prospect, fans must not think he is the finished article, and there may be times he will struggle with the pace and rigours of English football, so patience will be the name of the game with him.
David Luiz blows hot and cold
Arsenal will hope that signing Luiz will bolster a defence that should not have opposing teams as fearful as their forward line does.
Luiz is likely to make his debut in a flat back four, alongside fellow centre-back Calum Chambers, and with the pair having just two days to get to know each other, it will be up to Newcastle to exploit any lack of understanding.
Luiz is one of those players who is either brilliant, or awful, with his bad displays often being comical in the extreme.
Always prone to making a big mistake during a game, he never lacks confidence in his own ability to dribble the ball out from the back.
Newcastle will need to pressurise him whenever he has possession, and not let him settle on the ball.
But one area that Luiz will be a danger, is free-kicks around the box. He has shown time and again he can hit a devastating set-piece, and Newcastle must be sensible and not commit any sill fouls in dangerous areas.
Joelinton vs Luiz – The Verdict
Newcastle must work from the front for the full 90 minutes, harrying the Arsenal back-line throughout, not giving them time to settle on the ball.
They must put pressure on Luiz, and force him into one of those mistakes he always has in him.
If they can force the visitors into playing long balls from the back, it will play into Newcastle’s hands, and nullify the threat of the Gunners’ dangerous forward line.
It will be up to Joelinton to put in a massive shift, chasing fresh air for much of the time, but if he can do so, his chances in the box will come as a result.