Arsenal v Newcastle United - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

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To be played on Monday 28th April 2014 at 20:00. Venue: Emirates Stadium, London.

Odds: Arsenal 1/3, Draw 5/1, Newcastle United 12/1

Last season: 7-3

Preview & injury news

After falling out of the title race, Arsenal's penalty shootout win in the FA Cup over Wigan Athletic may well have injected some fresh life into their season, as they have won each of their last two games, which means they are currently a point ahead of Everton in the fourth Champions League spot. They face a Newcastle United side on Monday night that is in pretty dire form as they have lost each of their last five league games, and are in danger of falling out of the top half of the table this weekend. It has led to the pressure piling up on Alan Pardew, whilst talk of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger leaving the club seems to have quietened down recently. 

On the injury front, despite a few high profile players returning to the Arsenal they still have a pretty lengthy injury list, in particular long term absentees. Though Abou Diaby is back in training, and has made an appearance for the under-21s, he is unlikely to be considered after a cruciate knee ligament injury, which is similar to one that is keeping Theo Walcott sidelined. Serge Gnabry also has a knee injury, Kieran Gibbs is said to be a doubt with an ankle problem whilst Thomas Vermalen is having trouble with his hamstring. Jack Wilshere is not expected to feature until next month at least as he recovers from a broken foot.

For Newcastle, Luuk De Jong is a doubt with an ankle problem whilst Mousa Sissoko could struggle to be fit with a hamstring injury. Hatem Ben Arfa has a thigh problem and may have played his last game for Newcastle as he seeks a move back to France. Papiss Cisse has a knee injury whilst Shola Ameobi has a problem with his ankle. Gabriel Obertan and David Santon are sidelined with hamstring and knee injuries respectively.

Key stats

Here are the top scorers from the two sides in the Premier League this season:

Olivier Giroud Arsenal FW 14 33 2,833
Loïc Remy Newcastle FW 13 24 1,923
Aaron Ramsey Arsenal MF 9 21 1,627
Lukas Podolski Arsenal FW 8 17 902
Yohan Cabaye Newcastle MF 7 19 1,509
Yoan Gouffran Newcastle FW 6 32 2,383

Their average possession statistics:

  Possession PercentagePlayed
Arsenal 56.00 35
Newcastle United 49.51 35

And the amount of clean sheets they have kept this season:

  Clean SheetPlayed
Arsenal 14 35
Newcastle United 9 35

5 players to watch

Aaron Ramsey - Ever since his return to fitness the Welshman has showed plenty of quality, and if he had featured in the crunch fixtures in February and March, this season may have been a little different for the Gunners. Ramsey is in good form, and Arsenal will be looking for him to continue that form as they aim to take another step towards another season of Champions League football.

Cheick Tiote - Against a very creative Arsenal midfield that is hard to stop when in full flow, Tiote is going to have a busy evening. He will look to break up the play as often as possible and stop the Gunners from motoring in the middle of the park, and set a platform that the visitors can build on.

Lukas Podolski - Podolski seems to have found his shooting boots of late having grabbed a brace in each of Arsenal's last two league games. The Gunners must be happy to see him in good form, and it's just a question of whether or not he can keep it up against Newcastle.

Loic Remy - Remy has had a spell on the sidelines in the second half of the season, and Newcastle seem to have lacked cutting edge as a result. He may start on Monday which is a huge boost to the side, and has been linked with this weekend's opponents with a summer move. Will he mark his return to the starting line-up with a goal?

Santi Cazorla - Cazorla is another one of the big creative forces in the Arsenal team, and if Newcastle have tightened up at the back after their recent performances, then the onus may be on Cazorla to break their resistance. He certainly has the quality, so expect to see plenty of the Spaniard on the ball. 

Earlier on in the season

Newcastle United 0-1 Arsenal, December 2013

It was just the one goal that was required to separate the two teams. Arsenal started the game brightly by creating a few chances but were wasteful in front of goal. The hosts grew into the game and almost took the lead Mousa Sissoko has a shot saved, and Mathieu Debuchy hit the woodwork. But Arsenal broke the deadlock just after the interval as he headed home Theo Walcott's free-kick. Walcott had his own effort cleared off the line before the visitors withstood some late Newcastle pressure, with Hatem Ben Arfa missing the target near the end.

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