Premier League Preview: Newcastle v Arsenal
By Football News
Arsenal will be looking for a rare win at St James' Park against Newcastle to secure a spot in next season's UEFA Champions League.
With fourth position in the English Premier League yet to be decided heading into the final day of the season, Arsenal need a victory on Sunday to be assured of a top-four finish ahead of arch-rivals Tottenham, who host Sunderland.
Arsenal sit fourth on the Premier League table with 70 points and plus 34 goal difference, while Tottenham (69, plus 19) are in fifth position.
To wrap up a spot in the qualifying stages of next season's UEFA Champions League, Arsenal will need to achieve something they have only managed once since 2004 - win at St James' Park - or leave their fate in the hands of rivals Spurs.
Since Arsene Wenger took charge as the London club's manager in 1996, Arsenal have only won five of 15 games away to Newcastle and if they fail to claim three points on Sunday, Tottenham could leapfrog them into fourth position.
While Newcastle have only one of their past five games, Wenger will be wary of the home form of Alan Pardew's side, as the north-east club have triumphed in four of their past six matches at St James' Park.
Wenger's team have won eight of their past 10 Premier League fixtures and will most likely look to Theo Walcott for goals against Newcastle.
Walcott has scored in Arsenal's past three games to move to the top of the club's Premier League goal-scoring charts with 14 for the season, two ahead of Santi Cazorla.
Last week, Newcastle broke a run of five games without victory in all competitions, beating Queens Park Rangers 2-1 to secure Premier League football for next season and moving up to 13th in the standings.
Hatem Ben Arfa and Yoan Gouffran hit the back of the net for Pardew's team.
Gouffran has been handy for Newcastle since Pardew signed him in the January transfer window with last week's goal his third since arriving from Bordeaux, while he has created two others in the Premier League.