Liam Kennedy’s Newcastle United XI at Arsenal - with THREE key changes

Liam Kennedy has picked his Newcastle United team to face Arsenal - and he’s thrown in some surprise selections.

With Eddie Howe back in the dugout will Newcastle United finally break their Premier League duck?

Well, Arsenal stand in their way, and the Gunners have demons of their own. They’ll be keen to erase all memory of their 4-0 hammering against Liverpool last weekend.

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A promising (ish) start in Howe’s absence last week saw United notch a 3-3 draw with Brentford, but it was not the elusive three points all Geordies are craving.

Here Liam Kennedy takes a look at the team he thinks has the best chance of securing an Emirates win.

Goalkeeper: Martin Dubravka

He might not be 100% match fit, but surely now is the time for the Slovakian international to return?

Right centre-back: Fabian Schar

Get his mind right, and tighten up the team around him - Schar can be a star in this United backline. Very much looked like a player who’d barely played a game in 12 months last time out.

Centre-back: Federico Fernandez

Inexplicably left out of the matchday squad by Graeme Jones, he needs to return - and pronto.

Left centre-back: Ciaran Clark

Best of a bad bunch defensively? It’s hard to tell when a lot of the worst defending comes from that left-hand side. Never has a team needed a Paul Dummett so badly.

Right wing-back: Javier Manquillo

This was a tough call, mostly because Manquillo has proven not up to scratch as recently as a few weeks back. But Jacob Murphy has little to no clue how to defend.

Central midfield: Jonjo Shelvey

Eddie Howe has talked Shelvey up - and he will find out himself whether he can get a tune out of a player who blows hot and mostly cold at United.

Central midfield: Joe Willock

We saw flashes of the Willock of old with his breaks forward last weekend. Hasn’t been the same player since coming back, but signs of the link up with ASM were there again against the Bees.

Left wing-back: Matt Ritchie

At left-back feels like a bit of a square peg in a round hole, but with cover in front of him and a more disciplined system, might just get away with it.

Right forward: Joelinton

A Marmite figure at United, but for me, I think he can do a job in this team. And I think he could add a physical presence on the left, and change easily with Allan Saint-Maximin when needed.

Forward: Callum Wilson

The main man. One of the only players whose name is in no doubt. Just need to hope he stays fit because Callum Wilson = goals. And Eddie Howe knows that.

Left forward: Allan Saint-Maximin

One of United’s real stars in the Brentford draw - and the Magpies need him on top form if results are to turn around.