Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Sports | By Ivan Ross

Newcastle boss Benitez angry over claims he'll replace Wenger at Arsenal

Newcastle boss Benitez angry over claims he'll replace Wenger at Arsenal

The centre-back has been a mainstay in Newcastle's starting XI under Benitez and his impressive performances have led to British media reports linking him with a £30 million (S$56.1 million) transfer to Premier League rivals Chelsea. The Magpies have a ten-point buffer between themselves and the bottom three and sit in the top half after beating Leicester City last weekend. He'd like nothing more to combine the two at Newcastle, and after giving his tenure every chance to develop on Tyneside, he is finally reaping the rewards.

Arsenal have had the better of Newcastle down the years and are close favourites to win at odds of (2.25).

January proved to be a crucial period for the club, though, as they made two notable loan signings and went on a run allowing them to collect 15 points from a possible 21 to move them 10 points clear of the bottom three heading into Sunday's game with Arsenal. All things considered, though, there may be an opportunity for the hosts to cause an upset.

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"When you play Europa League or Champions League, you have to travel and have all these distractions but also you have a bigger squad". Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal will likely be rested.

"Cup-tied in Europe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has taken to the Premier League nicely, and could score in a fifth successive game - against a club he almost joined, in a part of the world where he's made his mark before." .

With Arsenal in action in Russian Federation on Thursday, a gruelling schedule takes Wenger and his players to St James' Park less than 72 hours later. With Benitez at the helm and the right backing in place, there is no telling of their potential, but their first and only focus will be stretching their winning run on Sunday.

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Mohamed Elneny is available to play after his red card against Southampton was rescinded, though Henrikh Mkhitaryan will remain sidelined.

Arsenal have won the FA Cup in three of the past four seasons. Whoever starts for them will have the ability to cause problems, too.

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