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August 13, 2011 5:30 PM BST
St. James' Park — Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Referee:‬ P. Walton‎
Attendance:‬ 46894‎

Newcastle United - Arsenal Preview: Cesc Fabregas & Samir Nasri out as Gunners look for revenge after 4-4 embarrassment last season

Premier League curtain raiser sees a repeat of one of the most exciting clashes of last season, when the hosts clawed back from four goals down to earn a sensational draw

By Adithya Ananth



Simpson, Coloccini, S Taylor, R Taylor
Gutierrez, Barton, Cabaye, Tiote
Ameobi, Ba

Sagna, Djourou, Vermaelen, Gibbs
Song, Ramsey, Rosicky
Gervinho, Walcott
Van Persie

Steve Harper and James Perch are sidelined with injuries, while Danny Guthrie remains a doubt for this game. Hatem Ben Arfa sustained an ankle injury on the same foot he broke last season, and there appear to be doubts concerning his fitness as well. Joey Barton has been training with the reserves after being placed on the transfer list, and all eyes will be on him if he is picked to start by Alan Pardew.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri will not travel with the squad amid reports that they are both primed to leave the club over the course of the weekend. Robin van Persie will undergo a fitness test while Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby are out through injury but Thomas Vermaelen and Theo Walcott are fit to play.


  • Arsenal have gone without winning any silverware for six consecutive seasons, with their last triumph being the FA Cup in 2005.
  • The Gunners have beaten these opponents only three times in the last nine Premier League meetings, with the Tyneside outfit winning twice as the other four ending as draws.
  • Historically it is the home side that have the upper hand at St James' Park, as they have won 40 of the 77 league games against Arsenal.
  • Last season, Newcastle rewrote history books by mounting a mammoth comeback after going four-goals down at half-time, to eventually take a point off their opponents with a late Chiek Tiote (pictured right) strike sealing a point.
  • Robin van Persie scored 18 league goals to put himself as one of the highest goalscorers in the Premier League last season. No other Arsenal player made it into the top 20.
  • As for the Toon, Andy Carroll left for Liverpool in the winter while Kevin Nolan's 12 goals put him in the top 20. He was sold to West Ham United during the summer.

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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1Tim KrulGoalkeeper
16Ryan TaylorDefender
2Fabricio ColocciniDefender
27Steven TaylorDefender
25Danny SimpsonDefender
18Jonas GutierrezMidfielder
24Cheikh TioteMidfielder
6Yohan CabayeMidfielder
17Joey BartonMidfielder
19Demba BaStriker
23Shola AmeobiStriker
1Fraser ForsterGoalkeeper
6Mike WilliamsonDefender
15Dan GoslingMidfielder
28Sammy AmeobiStriker
20Leon BestStriker
-Peter LovenkrandsStriker
25Gabriel ObertanStriker
1Wojciech SzczesnyGoalkeeper
28Kieran GibbsDefender
5Thomas VermaelenDefender
6Laurent KoscielnyDefender
3Bacary SagnaDefender
10Andrey ArshavinMidfielder
17Alexandre SongMidfielder
7Tomas RosickyMidfielder
16Aaron RamseyMidfielder
20Robin van PersieStriker
21Lukasz FabianskiGoalkeeper
25Carl Jenkinson Defender
5Johan DjourouDefender
35Emmanuel FrimpongMidfielder
15Alex Oxlade-ChamberlainStriker
14Theo WalcottStriker
29Marouane ChamakhStriker
Players to Watch
Shola Ameobi
Shola Ameobi
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 23
Games Goals YC RC
22 0 0 0
The forward will have to step up this season after the club lost Kevin Nolan over the summer, and he will be expected to chip in with goals and to complement Demba Ba up front.
Thomas Vermaelen
Thomas Vermaelen
Position: Defender
Squad Number: 5
Games Goals YC RC
13 0 0 0
The Belgian will want to ensure that his side do not suffer from the defensive lapses of last season and will be looking to put in a solid display amid reports that Wenger is targeting two new centre-backs.
Probable Lineups
Tim Krul 1
Ryan Taylor 16
Fabricio Coloccini 2
Steven Taylor 27
Danny Simpson 25
Jonas Gutierrez 18
Cheikh Tiote 24
Yohan Cabaye 6
Joey Barton 17
Demba Ba 19
Shola Ameobi 23
Wojciech Szczesny 1
Kieran Gibbs 28
Thomas Vermaelen 5
Laurent Koscielny 6
Bacary Sagna 3
Andrey Arshavin 10
Alexandre Song 17
Tomas Rosicky 7
Gervinho 27
Aaron Ramsey 16
Robin van Persie 20
Newcastle United have lost a fair amount of quality over the summer, while Arsenal will be without Fabregas and Nasri. With both teams devoid of the players who make the difference, a draw could be on the cards.
Editor's Prediction
Match News
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Manchester City
15 0