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Arsenal Pre-Newcastle Team News & Injury Update: Arteta, Wilshere & Giroud

Arsenal take on Newcastle United at St James Park on Sunday looking for a win to secure a top-four finish in the league. Here’s an injury and team news update.

Mikel Arteta Arsenal

Arsenal take on Newcastle United at St James Park on Sunday knowing victory will secure a place in the top four and with it qualification to the Champions League next season.

There is still the chance we can avoid a two-legged qualifier by finishing third, but we’ll be relying on Chelsea to drop points at home to Everton, while failing to beat the Geordies is likely to mean we finish behind our north London rivals Tottenham – which doesn’t bare thinking about.

Ahead of the final weekend of the season, boss Arsen Wenger has given a team news and injury update. Tuesday’s 4-1 win over Wigan came at a cost as midfielder Mikel Arteta was forced off late on with a calf problem and the boss has confirmed he’s a major doubt to face Newcastle on Sunday.

Wenger is making preparations to be without the Spaniard and that could mean a recall for Jack Wilshere. The England ace hasn’t started in recent weeks due to discomfort in his right ankle caused by a pin from when he had surgery last year. Wilshere’s set to have further surgery to remove the pin next week and it was hoped he wouldn’t be required to start again this season but the injury to Arteta has forced the boss into a rethink.

The good news is that striker Olivier Giroud is back in contention after completing his three-game ban after being sent-off against Fulham. Despite scoring twice in midweek, Lukas Podolski hasn’t really convinced through the middle so Giroud may come straight back into the side this weekend.

Otherwise, we have no fresh injury concerns so it’s very much the same squad that took on Wigan. Here’s what Arsene Wenger told the clubs official website:

on Arteta…

For the weekend, we have the uncertainty over Mikel Arteta, who had to come off just before the end of the Wigan game with a calf strain. Honestly, his chances of being available are minimal. I have to be realistic and prepare for another solution.

on the overall injury situation…

Everybody else should be alright. There are no other real uncertainties.

on Wilshere replacing Arteta…

He is an option yes. We will monitor him until Sunday and I will make a decision very late over what I will do.

on Giroud’s return…

I am happy to have him back. He missed some games and will be full of enthusiasm.

What would be your preferred starting eleven this weekend? Get involved in the comments section below.

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