Gunners heading to Toon
Gunners heading to Toon

Arsenal visit St James’s Park tomorrow afternoon to take on Newcastle United in the Premier League.

After the disappointment of exiting the Champions League at the hands of Monaco on Tuesday, the Gunners will be looking to consolidate their top three position.

The Gunners are unbeaten in the last eight Premier League games against Newcastle, winning the last six in a row.

Newcastle haven’t scored in their last three home matches against the Gunners.

Newcastle who find themselves in mid-table in 11th place, have won just one of their last five Premier League home matches (W1 D2 L2).

Newcastle interim manager John Carver has only thirteen senior outfield players to choose from due to injuries and suspensions.

Team news

Newcastle

Newcastle skipper Fabricio Coloccini will miss the match after failing in his appeal to have the red card he received against Everton last Sunday overturned..

He was dismissed for a challenge on Aaron Lennon and will be suspended for three games, joining striker Papiss Cisse on the sidelines as he serves the second match of his seven-match ban for spitting at Manchester United’s Jonny Evans.

Injury will deprive Newcastle of the services of defenders Steven Taylor (Achilles), Paul Dummett and Massadio Haidara (both knee), and midfielders Cheick Tiote (also knee), Mehdi Abeid (thigh), Siem de Jong (collapsed lung) and Rolando Aarons (thigh).

Provisional squad: Krul, Elliot, Janmaat, Williamson, R.Taylor, Satka, Sterry, Anita, Colback, Sissoko, Gouffran, Cabella, Ameobi, Obertan, Gutierrez, Kemen, Riviere, Perez, Armstrong.

Arsenal

Tomas Rosicky is expected to be back in the Arsenal squad.

Arsene Wenger reported no fresh injury concerns following the midweek Champions League tie in Monaco, but may juggle his starting eleven dependent on the fatigue levels of his players.

Mikel Arteta (ankle), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hamstring), Jack Wilshere (ankle) and Mathieu Debuchy (ankle) all continue their rehabilitation.

Provisional Squad: Ospina, Monreal, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Bellerin, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ozil, Sanchez, Welbeck, Giroud, Szczesny, Walcott, Ramsey, Chambers, Gibbs, Gabriel, Flamini, Rosicky.

Key players

Newcastle

Mike Williamson is the only fit Newcastle United central defender, and will have organise a makeshift back-line, with Daryl Janmaat likely to partner him in central defence tomorrow.

Newcastle are likely to rely heavily on the performance of Moussa Sissoko, who has formed a good understanding in midfield with Jack Colback.

With Sammy Ameobi and Youan Gouffran struggling in front of goal,  Newcastle are likely to play Spanish youngster Ayoze Perez. He scored for Newcastle in the 4-1 defeat at Arsenal in December.

Arsenal

Olivier Giroud enjoys playing against Newcastle. He has netted six goals in five Premier League appearances against the Magpies, and has scored six and assisted three in his last eight Premier League appearances.

Key Statistics – supplied by Opta

Arsenal are unbeaten in the last eight Premier League games against Newcastle, winning the last six in a row.

The Gunners are the only team ever to not win a Premier League game after being 4-0 up at half-time, when they drew 4-4 with Newcastle at St James’ Park in February 2011.

Newcastle have failed to score in their last three Premier League home matches against the Gunners.

Olivier Giroud has netted six goals in five Premier League appearances against the Magpies.

Olivier Giroud has scored six and assisted three in his last eight Premier League appearances.

Newcastle have won just four of the last 39 games in all competitions against Arsenal (W4 D11 L24).

In Arsenal’s last six Premier League away matches, the winning side has netted exactly two goals.

Newcastle have won just one of their last five Premier League home matches (W1 D2 L2).

St James’ Park has seen the joint-most goals netted in the final 15 minutes of matches (13 along with the Emirates).

Alexis Sanchez has scored the first goal of the game more often than any other Premier League player this season.

Prediction

Arsenal will need to guard against fatigue and any hangover from the Champions League exit, but should be too strong for a weakened Newcastle. The Gunners have struggled to win convincingly away from home in the Premier League all season. That trend could continue with a 2-1 victory.