Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Jamaal Lascelles 'Focused' on Newcastle Amid Chelsea Rumours, Says Rafa Benitez

Jamaal Lascelles 'Focused' on Newcastle Amid Chelsea Rumours, Says Rafa Benitez

"But main thing for now is to get to 40 points and then speak to Chelsea - so maybe we can do it on Sunday night".

With the team expected to have some exhausted legs in the camp following exertions in Thursday's Europa League trip to Russian Federation in eventually beating CSKA Moscow 6-3 on aggregate, Wenger says the physicality and commitment of Welbeck could prove useful. Understandably, Arsene Wenger will want to focus most of his energy on that competition, but such a long trip will see them arrive back home worn out and with next to no time to prepare for their travels to the North East.

Meanwhile, the Gunners are in good form after advancing to the semi-finals of the Europa League and are now within touching distance of struggling Chelsea in fifth position. Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round's Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.

Arsenal, too, are in a rich vein of form.

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez hints that he does not believe that Arsenal will suffer from fatigue when the two clubs meet in the Premier League.

Danny Welbeck's two goals against Southampton took his tally to five in the Premier League this season - his best return in an Arsenal shirt.

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Newcastle have won 19 points in 2018, a total bettered only by the top four (prior to the latest round of matches).

The Magpies have lost seven of their nine league games this season against the sides now in the top six (W1, D1), with the only victory coming against Manchester United on 11 February.

His horrendous treatment by Magpies owner Mike Ashley, being hung out to dry with minimal communication from the St James' Park boardroom with virtually no funds to improve a squad seriously lacking in proven Premier League quality, and the constant threat of relegation makes it logical that a man of Benitez's calibre would decide he's had enough. The only manager to have seen his teams concede more in the division is Harry Redknapp (846).

"I will ask the players before the game, if there is any with any doubt about where we are then I will put another player in".

Newcastle face Arsenal at home on Sunday afternoon looking for a fourth straight win; after a season of lingering nerves, pain and worry, the path suddenly looks clear.

Probability of away win: 45%.

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