Key battles Match points: Newcastle v Arsenal

TEXT: RICHARD JOLLY PHOTOS: ACTION IMAGES, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
TEXT: RICHARD JOLLY PHOTOS: ACTION IMAGES, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
TEXT: RICHARD JOLLY PHOTOS: ACTION IMAGES, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
TEXT: RICHARD JOLLY PHOTOS: ACTION IMAGES, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
TEXT: RICHARD JOLLY PHOTOS: ACTION IMAGES, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Fabricio Coloccini v Olivier Giroud

Despite Newcastle's heavy investment, McClaren believes their key signing was keeping Coloccini, who was wanted by Crystal Palace. He excelled against Manchester United's Wayne Rooney but faces a different challenge in Newcastle's nemesis Giroud. The tall Arsenal man has a height advantage and scored headers in both clashes last season.

Georginio Wijnaldum v Francis Coquelin

An attacking midfielder who scored 18 goals as PSV Eindhoven won the Dutch league last season, Wijnaldum is a Wenger-type signing. Newcastle have installed the £14.7 million (S$31.7 million) player as a

No. 10, with Coquelin tasked to nullify him. Coquelin was fortunate not to be sent off against Palace and was overworked against Liverpool.

Daryl Janmaat v Alexis Sanchez

Janmaat is available to play after he was stupidly sent off against Swansea, when he could not cope with the electric Jefferson Montero. Now he faces the similarly speedy Sanchez, with the added complication that Mesut Oezil tends to veer to the left to link up with the Chilean. Janmaat has to be careful when Sanchez cuts infield to shoot.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2015, with the headline 'Key battles Match points: Newcastle v Arsenal'. Print Edition | Subscribe