Premier League preview: Arsenal v Newcastle
By Football News
Newcastle produced a spirited display on Boxing Day and came away empty handed, but can they bounce back against Arsenal on Saturday?
Goals from James Perch and Papiss Cisse and an own goal from Jonny Evans had Newcastle on the verge of an historic victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford.
However, Alan Pardew's side was unable to claim at least a point as United ran out 4-3 winners in wet conditions.
The defeat was Newcastle's seventh in nine Premier League fixtures, sending the club down to 15th position, just five points clear of the dreaded relegation zone.
It is important for Newcastle to put the disappointment behind them but all eyes will be on how they respond when they make the trip to Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
Arsenal head into the match fresh and ready to go after their Boxing Day meeting with West Ham was postponed.
The London outfit will have had seven days rest before kick-off on Saturday, compared to Newcastle's two after an energy-sapping encounter in Manchester.
Arsenal's last Premier League outing resulted in a hard-fought 1-0 win over Wigan and victory against Newcastle would keep Arsene Wenger's team on track for a Champions League berth.
The most recent Premier League meeting between the two sides saw Arsenal claim a 2-1 win thanks to goals from Robin van Persie and Thomas Vermaelen.
Newcastle's last league win came in 2010 courtesy of Andy Carroll's winner on the stroke of half time but Arsenal have otherwise dominated the head-to-head record, with Wenger's men losing just four of the past 27 league clashes.
With a number of key personnel absent including Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring) and Yohan Cabaye (groin), Newcastle are set to receive a welcomed boost with no-nonsense midfielder Cheick Tiote free to play after serving a one-game ban.
Meanwhile, besides Abou Diaby (thigh), Lukasz Fabianski (ankle) and Andre Santos (abdominal) Arsenal have a full squad to pick from.