Newcastle United travel to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal on Saturday afternoon and Eddie Howe has a decision to make on who to start between the sticks between Karl Darlow, Martin Dubravka and Freddie Woodman.
Darlow has been a regular in goal since Woodman and Dubravka picked up respective injuries in September, but he might be taken out of the spotlight after a below-par showing in Newcastle’s 3-3 draw with Brentford.
Dubravka has surprisingly been an unused substitute in the Magpies’ last three Premier League games and might be given the nod against Arsenal if Darlow is dropped.
Paul Robinson believes Howe will pull the trigger on Saturday, telling Football Insider: “Dubravka is a brilliant goalkeeper. I do not know why he has been left out of the side. It’s strange to me.
“When the takeover happened, I could see three or four players staying at Newcastle long-term and Dubravka was one of them. I rate him very highly. He is a top goalkeeper and I’m sure he will come back into the team this weekend against Arsenal.
“There has been a lot of hype around Newcastle but they have got a huge job on their hands to stay in the Premier League. They need their best players out there if they have any chance of survival. Dubravka is one of them.”
Dubravka joined Newcastle on loan from Sparta Prague in January 2018 and turned the move permanent in July. The 32-year-old has gone on to make 103 appearances in all competitions, conceding 139 goals with 29 clean sheets.
He’s yet to make an appearance this season due to injury and Darlow standing in his way, but that may change. Darlow has made eight Premier League appearances in 2021/22, conceding 15 goals without a clean sheet. The 31-year-old let in soft goals against Brentford so it might be time for change.