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Arsenal v Newcastle Match Preview

Newcastle United

Ashburton Grove

Saturday, 29th December, 2012.


On Sky

Arsenal will look to end 2012 on a bright note with three consecutive Premiership victories behind them. Newcastle will be looking to put Wednesday's heartbreaking defeat to Manchester United behind them.

Alex Ferguson might actually have done Newcastle the biggest favour they could ask for by describing them as 'a wee club in the Northeast' and Pardew's injury ravaged side desperately need points with only 2 wins in their last 13.

Vital Quotes:

Arsene Wenger refused to be drawn on whether he is interested in Newcastle striker Demba Ba out of respect for his opponents, ' like Demba Ba, yes,' admitted Wenger. 'I don`t think this is the right place to speak about that, because he plays against us tomorrow.

'I wouldn`t like to put Newcastle or us or him in an uncomfortable position. If you ask me 'Do we sign Demba Ba?' I say no.'

He went on to acknowledge the threat caused by the partnership between Ba and Cisse upfront, ' 'Cisse is a typical goal-getter and Demba Ba has great power. You feel there is a good understanding there as well.

'They both come from Senegal and play together in the national team so there`s a good friendship as well, that makes them stronger.'

Meanwhile, Magpies boss Alan Pardew believes his side have the weaponry to worry the hosts, 'They will match us up in midfield. We won`t get as much joy in that area. But I still think we can hurt them.

"The league suggests that Man United have stronger assets and we need to focus on the weaknesses of Arsenal and try to hurt them."

Pardew's quotes via the Newcastle Chronicle.

Arsenal Team News:

Arsenal welcome back Olivier Giroud and Tomas Rosicky, who missed the trip to Wigan with the lurgy. Abou Diaby (thigh) and Andre Santos (stomach) will begin training with the squad again on Monday.

Lukasz Fabianski (ankle) is still unavailable.

Arsenal (from): Szczesny, Mannone; Jenkinson, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Coquelin, Ramsey, Wilshere, S.Cazorla, Rosicky, Walcott, Chamberlain, Giroud, Podolski, Chamakh, Gervinho, Arshavin.

Player to watch: Theo Walcott

Walcott has started the last two games as a central striker with mixed results. At Reading his unselfish runs created space which Santi Cazorla exploited gratefully.

But Wigan's centre halves found him easy to school and his only notable contribution- winning the penalty- came from a run from the right. It will be interesting to see where he is deployed now Giroud is fit again. I think Arsene prefers a mobile central striker, but neither Gervinho nor Walcott convince yet.

Newcastle United Team News:

Newcastle welcome Chieck Tiote back from a one game suspension, but lose Mike Williamson to the same punishment after he picked up his fifth booking of the season in the 4-3 thriller at Old Trafford.

Vurnon Anita only has ankle bruising after a poor tackle by Antonio Valencia, but will miss this game. Jonas Gutierrez (knee), Yohan Cabaye (groin), Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring), Steven Taylor (hamstring), Ryan Taylor (knee), Dan Gosling (knee), Haris Vukcik (knee) are all out for Pardew's injury hit squad.

Newcastle United (from): Krul, Elliot, Harper, Simpson, Santon, Ferguson, Tavernier, Coloccini, Perch, Tiote, Bigirimana, Gutierrez, Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Obertan, Ba, Cisse, Shola Ameobi, Ranger.

Player to watch: Demba Ba

One of the bright spots on Newcastle's season thus far. We're linked with him heavily and the player has lifted his skirt towards us. You know how these things usually go, right?

Match Facts & Stats

Arsenal have had a player sent off in three of their last four matches with Newcastle. (Gervinho, Diaby and Laurent Koscielny).

Mikel Arteta has made an average of 87 passes per game this season, more than any other player.

Newcastle have played the highest proportion of long passes this season (17%), Arsenal the second lowest (8%).

The two sides have played one another 170 times. Arsenal and Newcastle have won 66 apiece, with 38 draws.

Ref Watch:

The referee will be Chris Foy. Spurs fans think he is a cyclist of some sort.

Match Prediction:

Newcastle have a lot of injuries in defence and central midfield, but with the exception of Ben Arfa, none of their attacking players are injured. I think Newcastle are going to go for Arsenal and that might play into our hands. I expect a tight 2-1 victory. Cazrola and Chamberlain for rsenal, Ba for Newcastle.

Next Fixtures:

Arsenal are away at Southampton on New Year's Day. Newcastle are at home to Everton on Wednesday night.

Writer:Tim Stillman
Date:Friday December 28 2012
Time: 11:40AM

Best of International Football News



Very strange to glean our injury list and find that we are actually, fighting fit, barring Fabianski, while the Newcastle list is the converse of ours, in December. You'd think we are due some injury luck given what we have been through in recent times each season. However, other than Ben Arfa and Cabaye, I would say they have pretty much, the squad they have been using to prosecute their league games, So far. I wouldn't drop my guard for Alan Pardew's team under any circumstance. We need to take advantage of our being better rested and tear at them from the first whistle. Anything short of a win would be a disappointment, to be honest.
28/12/2012 15:55:00
LD. Please clarify why you'd state that Fergie may have done Newcastle a big favour by referring to them as a "wee club from the north east"? I thought that was sheer arrogance from a manager who should be facing sanctions after that behaviour. In line with set precedents.
28/12/2012 15:57:00
PS: I do hope Wenger isn't unwary of the threat posed by Shola Ameobi in the opponent's forward line. He hasn't mentioned him at all but I feel Pardew will give him a run and he may just be in the mood to sign off with a goal, before jetting off for the African Nations' cup tournament. He was on the short list of the Nigerian coach and must be in good spirits.
28/12/2012 16:01:00
If Newcastle have anything about them, they will be fired up by those comments.
Little Dutch
28/12/2012 17:28:00
I get it now, LD. Thanks. Hopefully, not till after tomorrow.
28/12/2012 23:05:00
PS - its actually on ESPN, not Sky...xx
29/12/2012 16:25:00
arsenal vs newcastle united live IN HD QUALITY HERE:
29/12/2012 17:22:00
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