Unai Emery and his boys will start the 2019-20 Premier League campaign with an away trip to Newcastle United.

Arsenal will be looking to return to the Premier League top-four this season, after missing out on the Champions League for the third consecutive time the last term.

The Gunners travel to Newcastle for their league opener this weekend, hoping to kick off the new season with high-level performance.

Newcastle, on the other side, will begin the 2019-20 campaign with a new face in the dugout. Steve Bruce is the club’s new manager, replacing Rafa Benitez who left earlier this summer.

Team news

Steve Bruce is not the only new name at St James’ Park. Record signing Joelinton is expected to start in the front, alongside Allan Saint-Maximin who joined from OGC Nice.

Andy Carroll, who was resigned by the Magpies before the end of the transfer market will not be able to make his second debut for the club, while Jack Colback and Florian Lejeune are also sidelined.

Unai Emery and Arsenal invested in new signings this summer, with Nicolas Pepe joining for a club-record £72m transfer fee.

The Ivorian, however, is doubtful for the Premier League opener alongside fellow forward Alexandre Lacazette. Ozil, Kolasinac, Bellerin, Mavropanos, Holding and another new-signing Kieran Tierney are all out.

What did the managers say

Steve Bruce is looking forward to leading Newcastle United and cannot wait for the start of the 2019-20 season.

“I’m looking forward to it. To be given the opportunity is one of the highlights of a long career,” he said via the club’s official website.

“It’s right up there with anything I’ve ever done. To go and manage this great club is unique to me and I’m delighted to be here.

“As soon as you walk through the door here, there’s a certain pressure on you – but that is why I’m here. We couldn’t have wished for a more difficult start in Arsenal but let’s hope we can get off and running and give something for the fans to shout about.

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has set the objectives for the upcoming campaign – he wants to get his team back in the Champions League.

“We are happy and we are delighted with our players, our squad and our team. We know it’s difficult, but really our ambition and our motivation is to do the best we possibly can in every competition,” Emery said at the pre-game press conference.

“The Premier League is the most important competition and we are going to start on Sunday and it is going to give us the regularity and consistency in 38 matches.

“It’s the first way for us to achieve our targets and objectives to be in the top four, but we know it’s going to be difficult.”

Head-to-Head

Stats

Arsenal have won 12 of their last 13 meetings with Newcastle United, with their only defeat coming in April 2018 at St James’ Park.

The Gunners kept only one clean sheet in their 19 away games last season, noting only seven victories in the process.

Newcastle United finished the season on a high note when it comes to their home games. They won six of the last eight games at St James Park in the 2018-19 campaign.

Steve Bruce has lost a career-worst 19 games against Arsenal. His teams have beaten the Gunners just twice in 27 meetings, with Birmingham in 2005 and Sunderland in 2009.

Arsenal opened all of the last seven Premier League campaigns at the Emirates. The last time they played away from home in the first round was in the 2011-12 opener, drawing 0-0 with non-other than Newcastle United.

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