Despite their point-gap in the Premier League table, Newcastle United and Arsenal have some things in common this season. A Spanish manager who’s slowly integrating their own system, they’ve also given chances to some promising youngsters this season.
So, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to predict those youngsters will make an impact during their Monday night clash.
Isaac Hayden and Matteo Guendouzi are set for an anticipated clash in midfield, with the former obviously having previously plied his trade in north London and the latter currently impressing after a rapid rise from the French second division.
Indeed, two blooming midfielders who add steel, energy, heart in midfield, it’ll be an intense midfield battle between the two to decide which side gets a strong foothold in the game.
It’s past against present in this edition of the TT Battle.
After almost exiting Newcastle in the last two transfer windows, Hayden has come alive in lighting up their midfield under Rafa Benitez.
A clever, vibrant figure who adds that extra spice to their attack while protecting his defence amicably, Hayden’s among the Spaniard’s best players this season. Having a 55% tackling success, made 30 interceptions and 85 recoveries in 18 appearances (stats via Premier League), he’s been a livewire in midfield.
Hayden’s also scored 1 goal, while assisting 3, as his impressive performances against Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur proving him as a big game player who’ll definitely make an impact against Arsenal, the club who let him go at an early age.
TT Grade – B+
Matteo Guendouzi’s been a breath of fresh air in Arsenal’s midfield ever since arriving, adding that burst of energy they missed for a long time. Indeed, a relentless figure who always presses down opponents works his heart to win the ball and etch together moves, he’s shone through under Emery’s system.
He boasts a 59% tackling success, 125 recoveries and 27 interceptions in 25 appearances (stats via Premier League), finding refined form at the Emirates. Guendouzi’s yet to score or assist, but knowing how he thrives playing in front of the home crowd and loves dominating oppositions, that’s not his game.
TT Grade – A-
Hayden might come alive in big games, but when it comes to the Emirates, there aren’t many players who can topple the blistering Guendouzi.
After the international break, he’ll come out all guns blazing to be a whirlwind in midfield and make life extremely difficult for the Newcastle sensation with his energetic drive which has blown away many top midfielders this season.
In our minds, Guendouzi will be showing Hayden exactly why Arsenal sold him.
Newcastle fans, do you think Hayden can deliver another special performance on Monday? Join the discussion by commenting below.
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