As disappointed as Arsene Wenger will have been with his team’s Champions League defeat in the Ukraine this week, he will be happy to welcome back the spine of his team, refreshed for Sunday’s home game with Newcastle.
Newcastle have flattered to deceive so far this season. However, the constant speculation surrounding the future of Chris Hughton may have had a destabilising effect on a side that found something resembling top gear against local rivals Sunderland last time out.
For all their virtue in that performance, Newcastle will need to at least match that display if they are to be in with even a sniff against a rested, motivated Arsenal side. When the Toon were last in the Premier League they were routinely crushed by Arsenal sides with their movement and intensity. I fear the same fate will await them on Sunday.