I like to think of myself as a fan who will, at least, try to look and focus on the positives especially when it comes to supporting Newcastle. However, considering our recent form, an atrocious recent record against Arsenal (we have lost the previous nine), we will be away from home (we have won one in the last sixteen at Arsenal - a run that can be traced back to when Highbury was their home) and Arsenal have been consistently getting positive results in their own backyard as they have only suffered three home defeats in all competitions in 2017, I don't blame any fans for writing this game off before kick-off.
Facts and Figures
Arsenal wins: 74
Newcastle wins: 66
Arsenal wins: 25
Newcastle wins: 9
Premier League at Arsenal
Arsenal wins: 16
Newcastle wins: 4
Previous ten (all competitions)
Arsenal wins: 9 (22 goals)
Newcastle wins: 0 (6 goals)
Biggest wins (in this fixture)
Arsenal 0 - 3 Newcastle United (25/12/1909)
Arsenal 1 - 4 Newcastle United (25/08/1923)
Despite not having our biggest win at Arsenal since before the Second World War, I do feel like I have to mention the time when we played out a memorable 3-1 win at Highbury around this time sixteen years ago back in December 2001. After Arsenal led for a large proportion of the game, it took an excellent second half performance to send Newcastle to the top of the Premier League which remained the case over the Christmas period. An Andy O'Brien header and a late Alan Shearer penalty helped Newcastle to the win before Laurent Robert caught Arsenal on the break and duly wrapped up the points.
Biggest defeats (in this fixture)
Arsenal 5 - 0 Newcastle United (17/09/1960)
Arsenal 5 - 0 Newcastle United (09/12/2000)
One thing is for sure of what I hope will not happen on Saturday and that is the way in which we start games really well and then, essentially, flick a switch and let the effort and energy levels drop which allows the opposition to take advantage and we come away with nothing. It happened against Man United, Chelsea, Leicester and, most recently, against Everton. Many fans are finding it incredibly frustration that the players are simply not learning from the same mistakes which are being made week in, week out.
I will finish this article on a positive, though. I will have a throwback to our only win at the Emirates Stadium which came in November 2010. A Joey Barton free-kick lobbed into the box was met by the head of Andy Carroll who won the aerial battle against Lukasz Fabianski to head home the only goal of the game. The goal celebration was notable as the players celebrated with then manager, Chris Hughton.