Having lost the services of Matt Targett to injury after only 2 minutes on Wednesday night Howe will be holding a conversation with his medical staff to assess whether Targett’s name has been added to the ever-growing injured list before knowing who he has available for selection.
Little is known of the level of injury that is holding back Sven Botman, while Harvey Barnes, Alexander Isak, Elliott Anderson, Lewis Miley, and Jacob Murphy are all ruled out through a mixture of injury and illness. And Howe will be hoping that the rest of his squad report fit for selection as the games come thick and fast.
On the plus side, howe was able to give deserved rests to several first team regulars for the visit to old Trafford while giving others a short run out with victory already in the bag.
A huge plus coming out of Wednesday night’s demolition of cup holders Manchester Utd was how the shadow team performed. Howe must be pleased by what he saw from Emil Krafth, Paul Dummett and his two summer signings Tino Livramento and Lewis Hall; and not forgetting Martin Dubravka, with all five producing excellent performances as well as a collective clean sheet as they shut out Man Utd’s misfiring strike force without breaking sweat.
Arsenal come to St James off the back of a surprise Carabao Cup defeat at the London Stadium where hosts West Ham Utd ran out 3:1 winners. However, their league form of seven wins and three draws with no losses see’s them sit in second place behind surprise league leaders Tottenham.
Their last league outing was the 5:0 demolition of Sheffield Utd with striker Eddie Nketiah scoring a hattrick and the 24-year-old will be one to keep a careful watch for Newcastle’s defenders as he looks to add to his five goals this season.
Arsenal are expected to be without Gabriel Jesus as well as long-term absentees Jurriën Timber, midfielder Thomas Partey, and Emile Smith-Rowe while doubts remain over the fitness of Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka.
Stuart Attwell will be the man in the middle for this fixture supported by assistants Richard West and James Mainwaring. Fourth official is Graham Scott. Hiding out in the VAR bunker you will find Andy Madley with his feet up on the table alongside his assistant Stuart Burt.