ibusinesslines.com July 23, 2018

Lascelles quite happy at Newcastle, says Benitez

15 April 2018, 12:53 | Charlene Valdez

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Arsenal, despite having had a trip to Moscow in the Europa League and after Friday's draw pitted them against Atletico Madrid to reflect on, will be ready, according to Benitez.

Former Liverpool FC striker Owen believes Newcastle will secure a positive result against the Gunners at St James' Park on Sunday afternoon.

Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla remains a long-term absentee with an Achilles injury.

Mohamed Elneny is in contention to start after seeing his red card overturned against Southampton, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles is a doubt due to a knock.

Wenger could rest a number of players with a Europa League semi-final on the horizon.

Rafael Benitez's side sit mid table in the Premier League with six games of the season left to play.

Kenedy has been a key part of Newcastle's three-game winning run.

Ayoze Perez is the club's top scorer with six goals to his name so far this season.

Arsenal, too, are in a rich vein of form.

He played a key role in Newcastle's successful promotion push in the Championship past year, and he now looks to have done the same to keep the Magpies in the Premier League with the side now 10th and nearly safe. Only against Man City (11, 1994-2004) and Middlesbrough (11, 1930-1935) have they had longer runs.

Nine of Arsenal's 26 Premier League wins against Newcastle have been by a 1-0 score line, including the last three in a row - the most they've beaten any other side by that score in the competition.

With the Europa League providing the only realistic path to the Champions League, the Premier League may become less of a priority for Arsene Wenger, though he will be able to pick a strong team for this match, with Arsenal having a week to prepare before their next game. The last player to score in five in a row for the Gunners was Olivier Giroud in April 2015 (6).

Given how well he has played this season, he was perhaps unfortunate not to receive one in the last global break, and his lack of involvement will likely see him miss out on a World Cup place this summer even if he enjoys a strong end to the campaign.

The centre-back has been a mainstay in Newcastle's starting XI under Benitez and his impressive performances have led to British media reports linking him with a £30 million (S$56.1 million) transfer to Premier League rivals Chelsea.

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