Arsenal - Newcastle Preview: Magpies have not won back-to-back games away to Gunners since 1957
Andy Carroll's goal handed the Tyneside club a 1-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium last season but Arsene Wenger's team have just won three on the bounce in all competitions
By Oliver Platt
Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs
Arteta, Song, Rosicky
Walcott, Van Persie, Oxlade-Chamberlain
Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon
Ryan Taylor, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez
Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey are ready to return in midfield for Arsenal, but might not both be immediately installed into the starting XI due to the impressive performances of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Tomas Rosicky against AC Milan on Tuesday.
Arsene Wenger is also boosted by the return of Andre Santos, who had spent three months out injured but has been training for six weeks. Kieran Gibbs is also available at left-back.
Abou Diaby will miss out but Yossi Benayoun could feature if he returns to training on Sunday.
Shola Ameobi could return after illness for Newcastle but Peter Lovenkrands has joined Sammy Ameobi and Leon Best on the sidelines. The Denmark forward is likely to miss the rest of the season after suffering a suspected ruptured thigh muscle.
Midfielder Sylvain Marveaux and defender Steven Taylor are other long-term absentees.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Arsenal have recovered well from the disastrous week that saw them suffer defeats to AC Milan and Sunderland in the Champions League and FA Cup. Arsene Wenger's team went on to beat Tottenham and Liverpool in league matches and came within a goal of overturning Milan's four-goal advantage with a 3-0 win at the Emirates Stadium.
- The Gunners go into this match five points ahead of Newcastle in fourth place. A victory could leave them only a point behind Tottenham after Harry Redknapp's side were beaten at Goodison Park by Everton.
- Embroiled in speculation regarding the futures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, Arsenal drew 0-0 with Newcastle on the opening day of the season. Gervinho (pictured) was sent off for tangling with Joey Barton, who has since left Tyneside for Queens Park Rangers.
- Arsenal have not beaten Newcastle in the Premier League in their last three meetings, last winning in March 2009, although they did emerge 4-0 winners in the League Cup last season.
- The fixture has not ended in a goalless draw at Arsenal since October 1999.
- Newcastle just have the edge in the historical head-to-head of the two sides. They have won 66 fixtures to Arsenal's 65, with 38 draws.
- Andy Carroll's goal was enough to secure a 1-0 victory last season at the Emirates Stadium in November 2010.
- Newcastle have not won consecutive games away to Arsenal since victories in 1956 and 1957, however.
- Before Carroll's winning goal, Newcastle had not won in any competition away to Arsenal since December 2001. Andy O'Brien, Alan Shearer and Laurent Robert scored the goals in a 3-1 win for the Magpies, though Arsenal went on to win the Double, knocking Newcastle out of the FA Cup along the way.
- Newcastle have taken advantage of three red cards awarded to Arsenal players in their last three meetings; Gervinho, Abou Diaby and Laurent Koscielny have all been dismissed.
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Top 3 Predictions
Arsenal 3-0 Newcastle
- 20.84 %
Arsenal 3-1 Newcastle
- 20.12 %
Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle
- 11.63 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||May 19, 2013||Newcastle 0 - Arsenal 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Dec 29, 2012||Arsenal 7 - Newcastle 3|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Mar 12, 2012||Arsenal 2 - Newcastle 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Aug 13, 2011||Newcastle 0 - Arsenal 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Feb 5, 2011||Newcastle 4 - Arsenal 4|
|Dec 11, 2013||SSC Napoli 2 - Arsenal 0||UCL|
|Dec 8, 2013||Arsenal 1 - Everton 1||EPL|
|Dec 4, 2013||Arsenal 2 - Hull 0||EPL|
|Nov 30, 2013||Cardiff City 0 - Arsenal 3||EPL|
|Nov 26, 2013||Arsenal 2 - Olympique de Marseille 0||UCL|
|20||Robin van Persie||Striker|
|10||Hatem Ben Arfa||Midfielder|
The French defender has taken several steps forward this season and has arguably become Arsenal's most important defender. His partnership with Thomas Vermaelen has begun to flourish but they will be severely tested by the sheer power of Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse.
Tiote will need to be alert and busy to keep an in-form Arsenal midfield at bay. Tomas Rosicky has enjoyed something of a renaissance in the past couple of weeks and will need to be kept under close watch, as will the inside runs of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain if he starts on the left-hand side.
Arsenal are playing some of their best football of the season and if they can keep Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse in check, they should come away with three points here. Not often this season, due to injuries, have they had a surplus of attacking options but that will be the case here with players such as Aaron Ramsey and Gervinho potentially available from the bench.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed