If Newcastle are going to keep their run going, it’s going to have to be done without the late-game heroics of Joe Willock. The on-loan midfielder has nabbed Newcastle an extra 4 points with late goals in his three substitute appearances over our four-game unbeaten streak.
His parent club Arsenal come to St. James’ Park on Sunday so Willock will be ineligible. However, even without the 21-year-old’s exploits, confidence should be high to keep this streak alive.
Arsenal are in the midst of another disappointing campaign for their usual lofty standards. While they have beaten Newcastle twice this season, at the Emirates both times, it was during our dreadful run earlier this year.
The lads are on a high right now and Arsenal are just trudging along in 10th in the table with little hope of a finish in the European places. However, this match is sandwiched in between their Europa League semifinal against Villereal with the away leg tomorrow evening in Spain.
This could be an excellent time to enact some revenge on Arsenal and pick up still needed points. Newcastle are very close to safety but until it’s reached, there’s always room for fear in the heart of a Newcastle fan.
Steve Bruce again likely won’t make many changes, especially without Willock. However, Callum Wilson looked like he was shot out of a cannon a couple of times at Liverpool. Any lingering doubts over his hamstring should have dissipated after seeing his bursts of pace last Saturday.
While Bruce may be hesitant to drop Joelinton, a front two of Wilson and Saint-Maximin would be a handful for any defense. So that could be the lone change at St. James’ Park this weekend in a match that many will be confident Newcastle can win.