Competition: Premier League – Newcastle United vs Arsenal
Venue: St James’ Park – Saturday, March 21 – 15:00 GMT (11:00 ET)
Match Odds: Newcastle 9/2 – Draw 3/1 – Arsenal 4/7
A win for Newcastle will push them closer to a position in the top half of the table, whereas Arsenal are now in a battle for second with reigning champions Manchester City.
Newcastle take to Arsenal having only won only twice since the turn of the new year – a complete contrast to their opponents Arsenal, who have lost only twice since then.
The Magpies are bouncing back from a crushing 3-0 defeat at Everton last week, which would have knocked the stuffing out of them as they only managed a measly four shots-on-target compared to Everton’s nine.
Arsenal are coming off a superb win away at AS Monaco in the Champions League but have again failed at the last-16 hurdle for a fifth straight season.
A win for Arsenal would see them further grasp their hold on the top four position and with the form they are in at the moment, it’s easy to see why the Gunners are being tipped to finish in those all important Champions League places.
The reverse fixture at the Emirates Stadium in December saw Arsenal run out comfortable 4-1 winners over Newcastle with the red hot Olivier Giroud grabbing two goals along the way, with Santi Cazorla also contributing two.
Newcastle United will still be without Papiss Cisse who is serving a suspension. Captain Fabricio Coloccini begins his three-match ban following his sending off against Everton last weekend, while Cheick Tiote, Paul Dummett and Siem De Jong remain long term absentees, hampering Newcastle of key players heading into this one.
Arsenal also have a few injury concerns of their own with Alex Oxlade Chamberlain out, along with other notable injuries to former magpie Mathieu Debuchy who could return to training in a few weeks. Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere are still recovering so will be unavailable, but they could both be back before the end of the season.
Newcastle United’s last five in the Premier League: D/L/W/L/L
Arsenal’s last five in the Premier League: W/W/W/W/W
Key Stat: Arsenal last lost to Newcastle in November 2010 thanks to a solitary Andy Carroll goal.
Key Player: Olivier Giroud – The Frenchman has five goals in his last five games against Newcastle.
Newcastle 0-3 Arsenal – Olivier Giroud will spearhead the attack as Arsenal heap more misery on John Carver’s Toon Army in their own backyard.