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Premier League

  • 29 December 2013
  • • 19:00
  • • St. James' Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • Referee: L. Probert
  • • Attendance: 52161
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Newcastle United - Arsenal Preview: Wilshere set to return but Ramsey sidelined

Newcastle United - Arsenal Preview: Wilshere set to return but Ramsey sidelined

The England international is available for selection after serving a two-game suspension but the Wales midfielder will miss the trip to St James' Park with a thigh injury

In-form Newcastle United host Arsenal on Sunday eyeing their first home Premier League win over Arsene Wenger's side since 2005.

Alan Pardew's men have won seven of their last nine Premier League fixtures, with their latest success a 5-1 hammering against Stoke City on Boxing Day.

That run - which includes victories over Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United - has seen Newcastle move to within three points of the Champions League places.

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However, Arsenal are undefeated in their last six league trips to St James' Park, although the London club have triumphed in just two of those encounters.

Pardew is relishing the visit of Arsenal, though, and feels the clash will give him a better idea of the capabilities of his side.

"We've set ourselves up for what will be an intriguing encounter and we'll probably know a little bit more about this team after Arsenal," Pardew said.

"We've been on an incredible run really. I'm not sure if any team has beaten that run over the last nine or 10 games this season, not even Arsenal."

Midfielder Cheikh Tiote returns from suspension for Newcastle after missing the win over Stoke, leaving Pardew with almost a full squad to choose from.

Arsenal will be boosted by the return of Jack Wilshere following his two-game ban for making an offensive gesture towards Manchester City fans earlier this month, but Aaron Ramsey misses out after picking up a thigh injury in Thursday's 3-1 win over West Ham.

Laurent Koscielny is a doubt due to a knee problem, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also likely to be unavailable with a similar injury, although the winger is thought to be nearing his return.

The visitors' Boxing Day triumph against West Ham was their first in four league matches and moved them back to the summit of the division.

Wenger felt the victory at Upton Park underlined Arsenal's title credentials, but midfielder Tomas Rosicky is expecting another stern test of their character against Newcastle.

"Obviously it will be a tough game but Newcastle will always give you a good match," Rosicky told Arsenal's official website.

"It will be very interesting, I love these kind of games so I'm very much looking forward to playing them. I think it will be an exciting match."

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Last Five Matches
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Available Squads
1Tim KrulGoalkeeper
2Fabricio ColocciniDefender
3Davide SantonDefender
6Mike WilliamsonDefender
2Mathieu DebuchyDefender
6Yohan CabayeMidfielder
7Moussa SissokoMidfielder
8Vurnon AnitaDefender
24Cheikh TioteMidfielder
11Yoan GouffranMidfielder
11Loïc RemyStriker
21Rob ElliotGoalkeeper
3Mapou Yanga-MbiwaDefender
19Massadio HaidaraDefender
37Hatem Ben ArfaMidfielder
9Papiss CisséStriker
23Shola AmeobiStriker
28Sammy AmeobiStriker
1Wojciech SzczesnyGoalkeeper
3Bacary SagnaDefender
4Per MertesackerDefender
6Laurent KoscielnyDefender
28Kieran GibbsDefender
7Tomas RosickyMidfielder
10Jack WilshereMidfielder
19Santi CazorlaMidfielder
20Mathieu FlaminiMidfielder
12Olivier GiroudStriker
14Theo WalcottStriker
21Lukasz FabianskiGoalkeeper
25Carl Jenkinson Defender
8Mikel ArtetaMidfielder
19Ryo MiyaichiStriker
9Lukas PodolskiStriker
17Nicklas BendtnerStriker
44Serge GnabryStriker

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