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Preview: Newcastle v Arsenal, Team News, Line-Up & Prediction
It’s time we put our disappointing Champions League exit behind us and concentrate on trying to qualify for the competition again next year as we take on Newcastle on Saturday afternoon.
We head to St James’ Park sitting third in the Premier League table after a stunning run of form that’s seen us win our last five games in a row following defeat to Tottenham back in February.
We sit just one point behind Manchester City but they could open that gap to four if they beat West Brom in Saturday’s early kick off, so the pressure could be on to keep pace and ensure we stay ahead of the chasing pack.
The good news is that Liverpool and Man Utd, our two closest rivals for fourth place, play each other on Sunday so we’re guaranteed that at least one of those sides will drop points, and he have to take advantage with a win over the Magpies.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is still out with a hamstring injury while Jack Wilshere is still weeks away from returning from his ankle troubles.
Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Debuchy are in light training but will need at least two weeks before they’ll be in contention, but Tomas Rosicky is expected to return to the squad after missing three games through sickness.
Newcastle also have their injury worries as John Carver claims to have just 13 fit senior outfield players to choose from with the likes of Cheick Tiote, Steven Taylor, Paul Dummett, Mehdi Abeid and Siem de Jong all out.
Captain Fabricio Coloccini is suspended so he joins striker Papiss Cisse in missing the game as he continues his seven-game ban for spiting.
Aaron Ramsey was unlucky not to start in midweek and I think he should be recalled tomorrow with Santi Cazorla given a rest. I’d also like to see Theo Walcott given a run out as he’s seen first team action hard to come by of late.
We have an excellent recent record against Newcastle, winning each of the last six meetings including a 4-1 win at the Emirates earlier in the season, and with the Geordies squad depleted I think we’ll see us come home with a vital three points tomorrow. Newcastle 0-2 Arsenal