In recent history, Arsenal go into Saturday's game with an excellent record against us in this decade alone as we have only managed to muster up one win in the previous 13 games. New boss, Unai Emery will be making his first visit to St. James' Park after replacing the irreplaceable Arsene Wenger.
The last time Arsenal came to town, we came from a goal down to beat the Gunners thanks to goals from Ayoze Perez and Matt Ritchie to give Newcastle their tenth Premier League win over the London club. Following that match, Arsene Wenger announced five days later that he was going to leave Arsenal at the end of the season to end a managerial spell that lasted more than most managerial spells in the modern day game.
Going deep into the history of this fixture, Arsenal would not have liked taking the trip to Tyneside in the first half of the twentieth century. During that time, the Gunners only won seven times out of thirty visits to St. James' Park with Newcastle winning sixteen of those matches.
It is needless to say that Arsenal will prove to be yet another tough fixture in this early run of fixtures where we will have already faced most of the top six. However, the following two matches after this weekend will come against Crystal Palace away and the next home game will be against Leicester in two weeks time. No offence to those clubs, of course, but it will be nice to go into a game thinking that we can grab a win if we play well like we have been against the big teams.
This is the first game following the international break. The international break arguably came at a good time for us to recoup (especially for the players not on international duty) and recover from any knocks in the hope that we can come back fresh physically and mentally so we can look towards getting some wins on the board.
Facts and Figures
Arsenal wins: 75
Newcastle wins: 67
Arsenal wins: 26
Newcastle wins: 10
Premier League at St. James' Park
Arsenal wins: 9
Newcastle wins: 6
Previous ten (all competitions)
Arsenal wins: 9 (22 goals)
Newcastle wins: 1 (7 goals)
Biggest win: Newcastle United 7 - 0 Arsenal (03/10/1925)
Biggest defeat: Newcastle United 0 - 4 Arsenal (27/10/2010)
Newcastle United 1 - 0 Arsenal - 10/12/2005 (Premier League)
Shay Given: This match certainly added to the longlist of fantastic performances by Shay Given. The Irish international kept a clean sheet where three of his back four consisted of Peter Ramage, Jean Alain Boumsong and Titus Bramble: Given deserves a medal. Notably, Given produced an excellent save in the first half to deny Thierry Henry's volley from Cesc Fabregas' cross to keep the score goalless.
Jean Alain Boumsong: In what was a difficult and last season on Tyneside for Boumsong, he did play a key part of the game where he was fouled by Gilberto Silva which saw the Brazilian sent off ten minutes into the second half for two bookable offences. It was this sending off that arguably gave Newcastle the prerogative to attack Arsenal late on in the hope of scoring a potential winning goal and that is exactly how it panned out.
Titus Bramble: With the chuckle brothers, Bramble and Boumsong, occupying the centre back positions, it is miraculous to think that we gained a clean sheet against a title challenging Arsenal side. Early in the game, Arsenal had an appeal for a penalty against Bramble for a handball which the referee deemed to be accidental.
Nolberto Solano: The Peruvian capped a great performance by scoring the winner in the closing stages of the game. This was Solano's first Newcastle goal of his second spell at the club after spending a season and a half with Aston Villa in between spells.
Scott Parker: Parker was given the man of the match award courtesy of excellent set piece defending by the future captain of the club. Parker also had a positive effect on the other end of the pitch as he came close to breaking the deadlock in the second half with a long range shot that was close to beating Jens Lehmann.
Alan Shearer: Shearer played a key part in the game and caused a lot of problems for the Arsenal defence which consisted of future Newcastle player, Sol Campbell. Shearer sprayed the ball right to set up Solano for the winner. The Arsenal defence struggled to cope with Shearer's physical presence especially in the match and was arguably lucky, on some occasions, to not get booked. He was booked very late on but Arsenal felt aggrieved that the booking failed to come sooner.
Michael Owen: He probably broke his foot when the breeze picked up or when a very heavy feather landed on it.