Newcastle vs Arsenal Preview, Team News, Likely Line-Ups, Key Man & Predicted Score
Arsenal take on Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon looking to regain top spot in the Premier League. Here’s a preview with team news.
Arsenal take on Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon looking to regain top spot in the Premier League.
The Gunners slipped to second after Manchester City beat Crystal Palace on Saturday to move two points clear but a win over the Geordies would see the north Londoners leapfrog their rivals and end 2013 top of the pile at the half-way stage of the season.
Arsene Wenger’s men got back to winning ways with a 3-1 win over West Ham on Boxing Day and they should be confident of picking up a positive result this weekend as they’ve not tasted defeat at St James’ Park in their last 12 visits.
However, Newcastle are in excellent form having won their last four games which has seen them shoot up the table and head into the game sitting seventh, just three points off the top four.
Alan Pardew’s side thrashed 9-man Stoke 5-1 on Boxing Day with Loic Remy helping himself to a brace, so they will hold no fear as Arsenal come to town.
Arsenal will have to make do without top scorer Aaron Ramsey after the midfielder was forced off against the Hammers with a thigh injury. Jack Wilshere is expected to replace the Welshman after completing his two-game ban while Mathieu Flamini may come in for Mikel Arteta.
Tomas Rosicky is also expected to start having not featured against West Ham and Laurent Koscielny is likely to be recalled after recovering from a cut knee.
Lukas Podolski is pushing to make his first start in four months after coming off the bench to grab a goal and an assist last time out, although Wenger has said he will continue to use the German cautiously after such a long time out.
The Frenchman has also hinted Mesut Ozil could be given a rest. Yaya Sanogo, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby all remain on the sidelines.
Newcastle welcome back Cheick Tiote from a one-match ban and he’s expected to come straight back in to play alongside Yohan Cabaye in midfield.
Hatem Ben Arfa could retain his place after a decent display against Stoke and Jonas Gutierrez is available again after recovering from a calf injury.
Theo Walcott: The England ace proved to be the match-winner against West Ham with a brace and we can see him being the man to watch this weekend. Newcastle will certainly have to pay him close attention if they want to take anything away from the game.
Newcastle 1-2 Arsenal: The hosts will push Arsenal all the way but we can see the Gunners edging this one.
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