June 25, 2024

On Saturday, Newcastle United will play a big Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium.
Paul Merson has warned that Bukayo Saka may have a ‘field day’ against Newcastle United on Saturday, as the Arsenal midfielder prepares to face Dan Burn.

Saka has been in sensational form recently, scoring six goals in his previous four Premier League outings as part of an Arsenal team that is blazing on all cylinders. Mikel Arteta’s side has scored 21 goals in five consecutive league wins while conceding only twice.

 

Newcastle have scored plenty of goals in recent weeks, but have lacked defensive solidity, drawing 2-2 at home to Bournemouth last weekend and conceding six against Nottingham Forest and Luton Town. Eddie Howe’s team has been particularly vulnerable down the left, with Burn unable to match his opponents’ pace.

The Magpies do have the modest advantage of no midweek play, as Arsenal suffered a humiliating 1-0 Champions League last-16 first-leg loss to FC Porto. However, their former midfielder Merson believes it will have little effect on domestic form and hopes Saka will take advantage of Burn’s lack of pace.

 

Bukayo Saka 'wasn't really himself' - Martin Keown breaks down Arsenal's  struggles after Porto loss - Eurosport

 

“Arsenal suffered a big blow last night [Wednesday’s 1-0 Champions League defeat to FC Porto],” Merson told Sportskeeda. “The last time they won a European trophy was 30 years ago. It merely demonstrates how difficult European contests are – you need experience. They possessed a lot of the ball away from home, but they weren’t sure what to do with it. I’m not sure why they changed the away-goals rule, but you’re going to see games like this because teams will go into a shell during away matches.

 

Dan Burn: Newcastle defender signs new contract until 2025 - BBC Sport

 

“I don’t think Arsenal’s European failure will influence them this weekend. Newcastle have been inconsistent recently, but they have remained unbeaten in their last five games. They score goals, but they also concede far too many goals. They cannot go to Arsenal this weekend and defend like that; they will be decimated.

“Newcastle’s defence is struggling at the moment, but they don’t have much to play for. I like watching them play because they open games up, but they don’t want to do that against Arsenal – it could get messy. Bukayo Saka could have a field day in this fixture, and I expect Arsenal to win this game comfortably.”

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