Football tips: Paddy trader’s 3 value punts for Arsenal v Newcastle

Paddy trader Emmet O'Keefe is expecting the Gunners to have too much firepower for the Toon here.

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Arsenal’s Christmas period was just an illustration of how quickly football can change. Before Christmas, they looked and played like relegation contenders with Mikel Arteta trading odds-on for the sack race. But changing formation to a 4-2-3-1 and Gabriel Martinelli returning from injury has really sparked Arsenal’s attack into life. The introduction of Emile Smith-Rowe has provided a link from midfield to attack and has given some much-needed support to Alexandre Lacazette.

To illustrate the shift in Arsenal’s attacking output, it’s worth noting the following stat: Before the Chelsea game, Arsenal were averaging 3.2 shots on target per match which is similar to Newcastle and Burnley and reflected where Arsenal were at in terms of having the attack of a team in relegation trouble. In their last three matches Arsenal have averaged 7.1 shots on target. To put that in context, Liverpool lead the league in averaging six shots on target per game. Those stats are certainly inflated by playing West Brom, but they had seven shots on target against Chelsea which was a major improvement, and they look a team that has really found something to build on.

In more positive news for Arsenal, Thomas Partey is set to return from injury and could form an exciting midfield partnership with Dani Ceballos as the season goes on.

Arsenal v Newcastle, FA Cup R3
Saturday, January 9: 5.30pm – BBC1

Despite taking only one point from three games over the Christmas period, Newcastle’s 0-0 draw with Liverpool was probably the best performance of a drab season. The Toon didn’t just sit back and lump the ball forward as expected and put together some nice passing moves and Callum Wilson gave Nat Phillips a torrid time. Wilson is the only thing keeping Newcastle from falling into the relegation mire and I would suspect Steve Bruce may rest him for this trip to the Emirates.

Bruce must also be hoping Allan Saint-Maximin can return to training soon after suffering badly from long-term effects of Covid-19. Saint-Maximin arrived back on Tyneside in recent days after a period of recovery in his native France and hopefully he soon can provide some much-needed unpredictability to Newcastle’s forward line.

Arsenal to be winning at half-time and full-time

I wouldn’t expect much of a performance from what will likely be Newcastle’s second string and a comfortable win for Arsenal looks most likely here. Arsenal at be winning at half time and full time looks the best way to play them.

Eddie Nketiah to score anytime 

I think we can expect to see Eddie Nketiah get a start here and go close to getting on the scoresheet. As illustrated by him breaking Alan Shearer’s England U21 scoring record, Nketiah can be prolific against lesser opposition and this Newcastle team fall into that category.

Mohamed Elneny to be carded

Lastly, I’ll take a chance on Mohamed Elneny to be carded. The Egyptian was carded four times in December in all competitions and looks worth chancing here.

Arsenal v Newcastle tips

Arsenal to be winning at half-time and full-time
Eddie Nketiah to score anytime 
Mohamed Elneny to be carded

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at time of publication but subject to change

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