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League Cup

  • 27 October 2010
  • • 19:45
  • • St. James' Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • Referee: A. Marriner
  • • Attendance: 33157
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Newcastle United - Arsenal Preview: Theo Walcott set to start at St James' Park with Sol Campbell likely to feature against former club

Newcastle United - Arsenal Preview: Theo Walcott set to start at St James' Park with Sol Campbell likely to feature against former club

TEAM NEWS

Newcastle United


Sol Campbell could be handed only his second start for Newcastle against his former club as Chris Hughton shuffles his pack following Sunday's win at West Ham.

Defender Campbell hopes to be ready to return from a thigh injury that has kept him out of action for the last 10 days.

Alan Smith is also expected to return to the starting line-up while youngsters Shane Ferguson and Nile Ranger are in contention.

Probable starting XI: Krul; R Taylor, Coloccini, Campbell, Ferguson; Routledge, Guthrie, Smith, Lovenkrands; Ranger, Ameobi.

Arsenal

Theo Walcott is set to make his first start in an Arsenal shirt since August as Arsene Wenger's side travel to St James' Park.

The England winger has featured as a substitute in the Gunners' last two games after returning from an ankle injury suffered on England duty against Switzerland in September.

Nicklas Bendtner is also set for a starting role after he came off the bench to score the final goal in Sunday's 3-0 win at Manchester City, but the clash comes too soon for goalkeeper Manuel Almunia (elbow).

Carlos Vela is ready to be handed a rare start but Jack Wilshere is serving the second game of a three-match suspension.

Probable starting XI: Fabianski; Eboue, Djourou, Koscielny, Gibbs; Denilson, Diaby, Rosicky; Walcott, Bendtner, Vela.

Enjoying the ride

Newcastle's attitude towards the League Cup was evident as they made 10 changes for their clash with Chelsea last time out, a thrilling match they won 4-3 thanks to Shola Ameobi's last-gasp winner.

While the club's priority this season is to stay in the Premier League, the momentum of a good cup run could build confidence around St James' Park as they look for their first ever League Cup triumph.

Newcastle have played Arsenal more than any other club and have won 65 of the 165 matches between the sides – one more than Wednesday's visitors.

But the Magpies have not beaten the Gunners in a cup tie since the 1952 FA Cup Final when George Robledo scored the only goal of the game.

Time for a trophy

Arsene Wenger named a surprisingly strong team as Arsenal won 4-1 at bitter rivals Tottenham last time out in this competition.

It is over five years since the Gunners won a trophy and while the League Cup is far from top of their priority list, Wenger's attitude so far suggests that he sees it as a real chance to win silverware this season.

Arsenal are unbeaten in their last seven cup matches against Newcastle and have never conceded a goal in any of the four previous League Cup ties between the sides.

That will bolster Wenger's confidence of progressing to the fifth round – the stage at which his team have been knocked out the competition in the last two seasons.

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Players to watch

Shola Ameobi

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The gangly forward was the hero as he scored twice in Newcastle's win at Chelsea in the last round of the competition. His unpredictable style could cause problems for the Gunners and he will be looking to get on the end of crosses from Wayne Routledge.

T. Walcott

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The England winger started the season in stunning form and will be looking to get straight back into his stride. He will look to use his pace to test rookie full-back Shane Ferguson and add to his four goals this campaign.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Newcastle United

Arsenal

Wins
0
0
5
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Newcastle United FC NEW
Newcastle United FC Newcastle United
Draw
Arsenal FC ARS
Arsenal FC Arsenal
88%

Top 3 Predictions

Newcastle United FC NEW
0 - 3
Arsenal FC ARS
Newcastle United FC NEW
1 - 3
Arsenal FC ARS
Newcastle United FC NEW
0 - 2
Arsenal FC ARS

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