Image courtesy of www.gunnerstown.com Arsenal FC vs Newcastle United FC Emirates Stadium, London April 1, 2019 3:00 PM EST NBCSN “"Elegant is not a word many people associate with Newcastle. Urban? Yes. Dynamic? Possibly. But elegant? Hmm.” - National Geographic Traveller "People keep asking if I'm back and I haven't really had an answer...But now, yeah, I'm thinkin' I'm back!" - John Wick ~ Lo and behold, peeps, the international break is over and the Premier League season home stretch begins in earnest. Our heroes currently sit 4th in the table with just 8 matches left. Continue to show their mettle and they're poised to land a Champions League spot, and possibly enjoy a special holiday along the way. What's more the run in will show the final state of progress under new coach Unai Emery - Vital understanding as we frame our collective lamentations for the upcoming summer transfer window. Newcastle comes in 3-2-1 in their last 6 since Miguel Almiron joined the squad, though it is the burgeoning partnership of Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon that has had the biggest affect of late. Their play remains enigmatic - beating Manchester City but losing to WHU - but they've shown hustle and played most every contest close for the past few months. And at 8 games to go they're not quite assured of safety in the Premiership so they'll still be trying for points, knowing Arsenal is likewise an enigmatic performer. Aaron Ramsey is a probable scratch from the game due to injuries sustained while on Wales duty, so plan your fantasy leagues accordingly. Whether or not that impacts the initial game plan only Emery knows, seeing as his lineups are about as consistent as a Keno score, but fans have enjoyed seeing a more attacking formation lately and the team has seen some results. So why change the formula against a team not known as a defensive stalwart, right? I reserve the right to amend this prediction as we get closer to game time, but for now I'm feeling plucky. Arsenal isn't a wall on defense but they get the job done. 3-1, and the home fans end their Monday on a high.