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Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez doesn't 'see any reason' why he can't snap his Emirates jinx

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Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez sees no reason why he can’t snap his Emirates jinx ahead of visit to Arsenal

  • Newcastle travel to face Arsenal in the Premier League on Monday night 
  • Rafa Benitez could not beat Arsene Wenger in the Premier League at Arsenal
  • He collected just two points in seven matches against Wenger’s side in London

Rafa Benitez could not beat Arsene Wenger in the Premier League at Arsenal — and now he must attempt to get one over his friend Unai Emery.

In seven matches against Wenger’s side in North London, Benitez collected just two points, both during his time at Liverpool.

Newcastle have long struggled in the capital, where they have won just once in the top flight since 2015.

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez is confident he can secure a first victory at the Emirates Stadium

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez is confident he can secure a first victory at the Emirates Stadium

‘I don’t see any specific reason why Newcastle United cannot win against any team,’ Benitez said. ‘You are talking about going to London, where you can go against Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and you can lose. Why? Because they are good teams, that’s the reason.’

Emery admits that he is using Benitez as a source of reference as he adapts to the demands of the Premier League.

‘I respect him a lot because he is a very good coach and has a lot of experience and a lot of titles,’ Emery said. ‘Here in England he has more experience than me. It is a big reference for us, for me.’

Benitez has collected just two points from seven matches against the Gunners in London

Benitez has collected just two points from seven matches against the Gunners in London

Benitez has collected just two points from seven matches against the Gunners in London

Emery is set to give Mesut Ozil the nod, with the midfielder having started in five of Arsenal’s last seven games.

Emery added: ‘His quality, his performance… he is being consistent in training and each match for us. He is training, he is playing and being consistent. He has a good mentality.’

Emery has been utilising three at the back recently but still wants his team to be flexible and capable mentally of changing during matches.

The Spaniard sees no reason why his team can't pull off an upset on Monday evening

The Spaniard sees no reason why his team can't pull off an upset on Monday evening

The Spaniard sees no reason why his team can’t pull off an upset on Monday evening 

‘Each match gives us the possibility to progress,’ he added. ‘First is in the table, second is improving as a team, in our system, tactically and individually.

‘I want to be better each match and I think each player can progress. Each player can show us he is improving. In the table, our objective is very clear — to be in the top four. But we know this is difficult and each possibility, like Monday, is good.

‘In 90 minutes we have different systems and different players. We need to continue doing that and maybe we can be consistent.’



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Premier League top scorers: Vardy extends lead over Abraham, Rashford, Aubameyang

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1. Jamie Vardy: 16 goals

2. Tammy Abraham: 11 goals

3. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 10 goals

4. Marcus Rashford: 10 goals

5. Sergio Aguero: 9 goals

6. Sadio Mane: 9 goals

7. Harry Kane: 9 goals

8. Danny Ings: 9 goals

9. Raheem Sterling: 8 goals

10. Teemu Pukki: 8 goals

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'It's strange for a big team': Pellegrini taking Arsenal lightly as Gunners look to turn form around

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‘It’s strange for a big team’: West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini expects to face Arsenal side hungry to win as Freddie Ljungberg aims to end winless streak

  • West Ham will host Arsenal on Monday night in a Premier League clash 
  • Arsenal are on a miserable run, having gone nine games without a win 
  • West Ham’s form is no better, with Pellegrini’s job at risk in East London 
  • The former Man City boss called Arsenal’s situation ‘strange for a big team’ 

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini will not be taking Arsenal lightly despite their woeful form.

The Gunners head to east London on Monday night on the back of a nine-match winless streak, their worst run in 42 years.

Arsenal would appear to be there for the taking as the Hammers go in search of only their second win in 10 in the league.

Manuel Pellegrini is expecting a tough challenge against Arsenal despite their 'strange' form

Manuel Pellegrini is expecting a tough challenge against Arsenal despite their ‘strange’ form

Freddie Ljungberg is yet to win as boss in two games since taking over from Unai Emery

Freddie Ljungberg is yet to win as boss in two games since taking over from Unai Emery

Freddie Ljungberg is yet to win as boss in two games since taking over from Unai Emery

The Irons fell to another loss to Wolves in midweek, as they continue to struggle for form

The Irons fell to another loss to Wolves in midweek, as they continue to struggle for form

The Irons fell to another loss to Wolves in midweek, as they continue to struggle for form 

But Pellegrini is anticipating a backlash and warned: ‘I expect to see a team that will try to reverse their results.

‘They have a lot of top players so we cannot be confident that, just because they are not in a good moment, we are going to win the game. We must try to win the game by having a good performance.

‘The advantage we will take is if we play a good game, if we are solid in defence and creative in attack. That’s what the result depends on.

‘It’s strange for a big team (that in) the last 20 years normally play in the Champions League, but football is like that. From one game to another the results change.

‘Is it a good time to play them? The time for our team depends more on our performance than what is happening with the other team.’

West Ham sit just a point off the bottom three, but Pellegrini says he is not fighting for his job

West Ham sit just a point off the bottom three, but Pellegrini says he is not fighting for his job

West Ham sit just a point off the bottom three, but Pellegrini says he is not fighting for his job

Freddie Ljungberg will be in the opposition dugout as Arsenal’s search for a permanent new manager goes on.

Pellegrini admits the Swede, a former Gunners and Hammers midfielder, has a tough task on his hands.

‘Of course for him it is a big challenge in a bad moment for Arsenal,’ added Pellegrini.

‘He is a young manager just starting his career and he will do it the best he can do it. It is not easy but he knows that club well.’

Pellegrini has problems of his own, with West Ham edging perilously close to the drop zone, but as usual he rejected any suggestions that he is battling to save his job.

‘As I always say, the pressure doesn’t link with the results,’ he said. ‘The pressure for me is in every game, to do it better, play well and win the game.

‘You do not need to be in a bad position, without a win in so many games, to start to feel the pressure. Pressure is there always.’



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Arsenal stance on Massimiliano Allegri could change due to former Juventus boss' comments

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Arsenal may no longer consider Massimiliano Allegri to be their next manager because the former Juventus boss is not keen on returning to work before the summer. According to Goal, Allegri is high on the Gunners’ shortlist but his insistence of extending his sabbatical may not work for the north Londoners.

The Italian was interviewed for the job in 2018 before Unai Emery’s appointment and remains interested in the position.

But the successful manager has taken some time off ever since leaving Juve last summer and is very happy with the way things are.

When asked when he will come back to action, Allegri said: “In June. I don’t know if you can call it a sabbatical or not.

“Giovanni [Branchini] and I immediately came to that decision.

“As soon as the relationship with Juventus came to an end, the decision was to take a year out.

“I had 18 years as a player and I’ve been in coaching for 16. I stopped this year after 34.

“I’m happy. I have a chance to reflect, go and talk to people, do things in my private life that I’m passionate about, like going to the theatre, some art exhibitions, reading books.”

JUST IN: Arsenal next manager candidates face three interviews as details of complex process emerge

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