- Arsenal boss offers injury update on Cazorla & Giroud
- Ratings: Cech shines but Ozil fails to spark as Arsenal held
- Video: Arsenal 0-0 Boro: Lackluster Gunners drop valuable points
- Teams: Arsenal v Middlesbrough: Cazorla out, Elneny in
- Team news: Wenger’s update on Ramsey, Welbeck, Giroud & Cazorla
- Preview: Arsenal v Boro, team news, line-up & prediction
- [Photos] Arsenal duo step-up injury comebacks in training today
- [Photos] Arsenal boost as injury doubt trains ahead of Boro game
- Arsene Wenger sets comeback date for forgotten Arsenal man
- Arsenal boss confirms fresh injury doubt for Middlesbrough game
PREVIEW: Arsenal v Newcastle, Team News, Preferred XI + Prediction
Arsenal have the chance to cement their place in the top four when Newcastle United visit the Emirates Stadium this evening.
Everton’s defeat to Southampton on Saturday means we can move four points clear of fifth with just two games to play if we secure three points tonight.
If we can then beat West Brom at home next weekend we’ll have secured a top four finish ahead of our visit to Norwich on the final day of the season. That’s a huge incentive as it means we could enjoy a relatively stress-free final day and possibly even rest some players ahead of the FA Cup final.
But lets not get too far ahead of ourselves, we have a job to get done tonight and Newcastle are still a dangerous side on their day, despite their disastrous form of late.
The Geordies have lost five on the bounce but still sit comfortably mid-table and they’ll be boosted by the return to the dug-out of boss Alan Pardew after he served his seven-game touchline ban.
However, we won this clash 7-3 last season thanks largely to a hat-trick from Theo Walcott and we head into the game off the back of successive wins over West Ham and Hull City, so should be confident of picking up a vital three points.
Unfortunately, Kieran Gibbs remains out with a hamstring injury but Thomas Vermaelen is back in contention after recovering from his own hamstring complaint. Nacho Monreal started against Hull last weekend and although I’ve seen some fans suggest Vermaelen should come back in, I think Arsene will stick with the Spaniard at left-back.
Mesut Ozil showed no ill-effects from his return last weekend so is fit and available, but Abou Diaby remains on the sidelines after picking up a minor groin injury following his comeback for the Under-21′s last week.
We have no new injuries to worry about so it’s largely the same squad as last week to choose from, with Jack Wilshere, Serge Gnabry, Theo Walcott and Ryo Miyaichi still unavailable.
The boys played very well against Hull last week so I don’t see any reason to change the starting eleven this time around. Lukas Podolski deserves to keep his place after scoring four goals in two games, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is rumoured to be carrying a small groin injury so is likely to be nursed through the final few games.
The Newcastle players have looked like they already have one eye on their summer holiday’s recently so unless the return of Pardew to the touchline inspires them, I can’t see past a home win. We have Rambo and Ozil back which made a huge difference against Hull, and I don’t see how the visitors are going to stop us scoring tonight.
Arsenal 3-1 Newcastle COYG!!!!
What are your thought ahead of the game? Are you confident of three points?