Eight Arsenal players make Newcastle combined XI as Ramsdale, Jesus get in over Pope, Isak
Arsenal need to win every game between now and the end of the season if they are to lift the Premier League title. Newcastle have only lost once at St James’ Park this season. It is going to be very tough for Mikel Arteta’s men.
Will the Gunners’ season be ended by the Magpies for the second year in a row? The fact they dominate this combined XI suggests not…
GK: Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)
The first two positions in this team are the most debatable of the XI with Gareth Southgate’s pecking order as England manager a factor.
Nick Pope is a safe goalkeeper to have. He is consistent, reliable and absolutely massive, which helps, but also gives strikers the incentive to press and to go old-school by trying to beat him with a hard and low shot. Proper schoolboy stuff, that.
Pope’s international teammate Aaron Ramsdale, on the other hand, is probably a little less consistent, but has proven himself to be a very reliable goalkeeper for Arsenal. The main edge he has over the Newcastle keeper is his ball-playing ability. That is Ramsdale’s forte and Pope’s Achilles heel. How tight it is between them when it comes to goalkeeping and the fact there is such a gulf in quality when it comes to having the ball at their feet is how this decision was made.
For what it is worth, if you think this is wrong, nobody here will judge you.
RB: Kieran Trippier (Newcastle)
Whenever Arsenal are involved in one of these combined XIs, Benjamin White is praised as one of the best right-backs in the Premier League this season. It is comfortably between himself and Newcastle’s Kieran Trippier, which is why this is such a hard decision.
The edge just – and only just – goes to the latter. Both players are quite equal defensively, maybe White is slightly better, while Trippier is better on the ball, creates more chances for his forward-thinking teammates and is very effective from dead-ball situations.
CB: Sven Botman (Newcastle)
One of the signings of the season, Sven Botman has been absolutely fantastic in Eddie Howe’s defence, fully justifying the club’s lengthy pursuit of the Dutch defender.
Given the injury to William Saliba – who would be in ahead of Botman if he was fit – the two central defenders were very easy to pick.
CB: Gabriel Magalhaes (Arsenal)
From one of the signings of the season to one of the most-improved players of the season; Arsenal defender Gabriel has been a rock at the back and a huge part of his side’s unexpected title push.
This centre-back partnership has left-footers. Don’t get too upset about it. It is not that deep.
LB: Oleksandr Zinchenko (Arsenal)
Arsenal left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko has been a bit dodgy defensively of late and Howe will obviously look to expose this, but that does not take away from the terrific campaign he is enjoying and the fact himself and Kieran Tierney both comfortably walk into the Newcastle team.
DM: Thomas Partey (Arsenal)
Another player who has struggled in recent weeks, Thomas Partey is still one of the best defensive midfielders in Our League and remains crucial to this Arsenal team. Saying that, Jorginho might get the nod against Newcastle after he played well against Chelsea on Tuesday.
READ MORE: Laughable Lampard hammered, Chelsea slammed and Xhaka praised in 16 Conclusions on Arsenal win
CM: Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)
Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard was another player to have a good game on Tuesday evening at the Emirates, scoring twice against a pretty shocking Chelsea team.
He has 14 non-penalty goals in the Premier League this season. The current record for a midfielder is 15, set by Kevin de Bruyne last season. With four games to go, the Norweigan playmaker has a great opportunity to achieve something very impressive.
CM: Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle)
Bruno Guimaraes should be an Arsenal player. He was there for the taking but Edu Gaspar did not bite the bullet. The Gunners’ loss is Newcastle’s gain though.
The Brazilian is an outstanding player, who has quickly adapted to life in England and starts in central midfield ahead of Granit Xhaka.
Guimaraes’ teammate and compatriot Joelinton deserves a mention. He has been superb since Howe came in and is unlucky to miss out here. As well as Xhaka and Joelinton, Joe Willock – formerly of Arsenal – can also feel hard done by.
RW: Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
Just a superb player, Bukayo Saka has 13 goals and 11 assists in 34 Premier League games this season. He will fancy his chances against Dan Burn.
ST: Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal)
The first two choices on this team were difficult, as was this one. The edge just goes to Gabriel Jesus ahead of the brilliant Alexander Isak – who produced one of the assists of the season against Everton and has a very impressive 10 goals in 17 Premier League appearances in his debut campaign in England.
Jesus just offers a bit more than the young Swede. He sets up goals, he holds the ball up well, he presses as good as anyone, and he is obviously a goal threat – even if he does love missing at least one sitter every game.
When these two clubs meet next season, it would not be a surprise to see Isak in our combined XI ahead of Jesus.
LW: Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal)
Newcastle fans obviously love Allan Saint-Maximin, but he does not come close to Gabriel Martinelli.
The Brazilian international is enjoying the best season of his career and has 15 Premier League goals with four matches left. This Arsenal team has so much potential and Martinelli is one of their most promising talents. It really is an exciting time to be a fan of the Gunners.
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