Arsenal face Newcastle this Saturday for their fourth Premier league game of the 2015/2016 season.
A below average run has seen the Gunners pick-up maximum 3 points only once – scoring just twice and conceding three in the process, with their last game being a goalless draw against Liverpool on Monday.
Even Wenger has been forced to admit that the Gunners finishing has been poor, with his post-match press conference saying “Maybe we are not firing on all cylinders at the moment. By definition, the finishing is a little bit cyclical and it goes in cycles.
“Finishing qualities come and go and you do not always know why, but certainly at the moment we want it so much at home [against Liverpool] that we’re trying to force it a little bit.
“It doesn’t look natural enough in our finishing qualities because we want to force the situation a little too much.”
Though statistics favour Wenger’s much criticized striker, Olivier Giroud, who has an outstanding record of 8 goals in 6 games against the Tyneside club including 2 goals in this same fixture last season.
Also, the fact that the Gunners have superior stats against Newcastle should ease the tension a bit.
Newcastle on the other hand are coming on the back of a goalless draw against Manchester United, and boast arguably the best Newcastle squad in recent times, with Alexandre Mitrovic supported by Georginio Wijnaldum and Florian Thuavin – who might be making his full Premier League debut after scoring one and assisting three in the 4-1 win over Northampton in the League Cup during the week.
The Magpies also welcome back Siem De Jong, who completed his first 90 minutes for the club in the League Cup win since joining from Ajax last season.
Arsenal would be without Jack Wilshire (Ankle), Danny Welbeck (hip) and Tomas Rosicky (knee). Mertesacker (illness) and Koscielny (back) are major doubts
Paul Dummet (Hamstring) and Emmanuel Riviere (knee) will both miss the game, while Moussa Sissoko is a doubt. Daryl Janmaat will be back after his suspension.
Arsenal sit 9th on the League table, with 4 points in 3 games, while Newcastle sit 17th with 2 points in 3 games.
If Newcastle wins on Saturday, it would be their 900th Premier League win.
Newcastle have won just two of their last eleven Premier League games at home in 2015.
Arsenal haven’t lost any of their last 9 Premier league clashes with Newcastle, drawing 2
Newcastle have won just 3 in their last 28 games against Arsenal, and notably, an Arsenal player was sent off in each of those three games.
Stats like those make this game much more interesting. One thing is certain though, Arsenal would have to get their shooting boots back on if they are to get a positive result this.