Chris Sutton explains his Arsenal v Newcastle United prediction
Chris Sutton is tipping Arsenal to keep their good run going with a 2-1 home victory against Newcastle on Tuesday night
Chris Sutton is tipping Arsenal to maintain their winning run with a 2-1 home victory over Newcastle United at The Emirates on Tuesday night.
The north London side head into the game on the back of their 4-2 win away to Brighton and Hove Albion on New Year’s Eve, a victory which pulled Mikel Arteta’s men seven points clear of second-placed Manchester City.
Arsenal now have the chance to move 10 points clear of Pep Guardiola’s men, who are not in action until Thursday, when they travel to take on Chelsea FC at Stamford Bridge.
The north London side have an excellent recent record against the Magpies, having won 11 successive home games against Tuesday’s opponents in all competitions – a run which stretches back to late 2010.
Newcastle United find themselves in third place in the Premier League table and nine points behind leaders Arsenal, with Eddie Howe’s men now unbeaten in 12 league games.
However, former Chelsea FC star Sutton feels that Arsenal will have too much for the Magpies on Tuesday night, and is backing the Gunners to claim a victory which would extend their lead at the top.
Writing in his column for BBC Sport, Sutton said: “I was wrong about both of these teams last time out – Newcastle were unlucky not to beat Leeds, but I was miles out when I said Arsenal would lose to Brighton, although the Gunners had to weather a storm at the end of the game.
“Arsenal are seven points clear at the top of the table now, and they are coping with every problem that gets thrown at them.
“It will be the same again here. Newcastle are well organised defensively, but Mikel Arteta’s side are so impressive going forward.
“Arsenal’s other two league games in January are against Tottenham (away) and Manchester United (home). At the end of this month, we will have a much better idea about whether they can go the distance in the title race, but at the moment they look like they mean business.”
Martin Odegaard has been one of Arsenal’s top performers in recent games, with the Gunners captain having scored three goals and made three assists in his last three games for the north Londoners.
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has been highly impressed by the 24-year-old, who has netted seven goals and made five assists in total this term.
“Arsenal look like the real deal,” Ferdinand said on the Vibe with Five YouTube channel. “These guys are serious, they are a serious outfit now.
“When you look through the team, they just look solid, but Odegaard needs a special mention. This guy! I said when he got given the armband it will go one of two ways.
“Either it will weigh too heavy on his shoulders or he’ll run with it. And he is running with it right now. This guy is playing like Mozart at the moment. He’s rolling the ball through people’s legs. He looks like a reincarnation of Mesut Ozil at his best.
“I’ve been looking at him thinking, ‘wow, this kid!’. You can tell he seems comfortable in his skin and he’s growing into the Arsenal captain’s role really well. Arsenal look like they can win any game right now. For me, they’re the real deal.”