Arsenal and Newcastle to get off the mark in style
Despite a difficult summer on Tyneside, Newcastle have started to bring in players with some real quality. Do they have enough to really push Arsenal on opening day? Have a read of our preview here:
Bruce determined to prove doubters wrong
After the delights of Rafa Benitez it is quite understandable that the fans at Newcastle would be underwhelmed with Steve Bruce as a replacement, but he deserves to be given time.
As a player he was hugely successful and has done a reasonable job as a manager even though he has often struggled to maintain success in the Premier League. The former defender knows he will have to win over his doubters and is thick skinned enough to be able to handle what is thrown his way (cabbages included apparently).
Getting enough goals will be his biggest challenge with last season’s top scorers Ayoze Perez and Solomon Rondon moving on. The Perez transfer fee, £30 million, has already been reinvested in Brazilian Joelinton.
The centre forward comes for a club-record fee of £40 million and will need to prove he is worth the investment. The striker netted 15 goals in 60 top flight games in Austria while on loan at Rapid Vienna and 11 in 33 in all competitions on his return to Hoffenheim last season.
Whether he can settle and be effective from the off could have a big bearing on Newcastle’s season. The other classy signing is Allan Saint-Maximin from Nice for £16.5 million.
The Frenchman is a gifted winger and will be just the kind of player Newcastle fans will love. He has a way of gliding past players while using his pace to cause problems that could see him act as an excellent foil for their new frontman.
Gunners looking to make a fast start
Arsenal have had a mixed off season as per usual. With sides like Villa snapping up 13 players, the Gunners faithful have grown restless of seeing their struggle for new additions.
Good things come to those who wait, however, and the £70 million purchase of winger Nicolas Pepe from Lille and the £27 million signing of defender William Saliba should give them a lot to be pleased about.
Now all they have to do is prove they are consistent enough to be able to break back into the top four this season – it will be a rollercoaster no doubt.
Newcastle v Arsenal betting tip
St James’ Park will be rocking as football returns for the new season. Steve Bruce will look at this first game as an opportunity to really lay down a marker for the season ahead. That’s why backing this one to have over 2.5 goals at odds of 5/6 should be given some real consideration here.