Newcastle United v Arsenal: Match Preview

St James' ParkTeam News

Newcastle could have Cheick Tiote, Davide Santon and Massadio Haidara (all hamstring) back along with Steven Taylor (illness). Moussa Sissoko, Shola Ameobi and Tim Krul won’t feature until next season. Goalkeeper Rob Elliot is suspended after being sent off in the win at QPR last Sunday meaning Steve Harper will play his final game for the club after 20-years of service.

Mike Arteta (calf) is a major doubt for Arsenal with Jack Wilshere expected to start despite being penciled in for ankle surgery next week and will have to be passed fit. Oliver Giroud is back for the Gunners after completing a three-match ban.

Alan Pardew… “It’s a huge game for Arsenal – it’s very important for them. They need to win, and they’ll have that mentality. They’ll carry a threat, and we’ve got to deal with that. Everyone knows how important Champions League football is to them. One team is going to be under enormous pressure.”

Arsene Wenger…“We are on a very strong run and know how to behave to win the games. I had a feeling Champions League qualification could go down to the last day. We are in a position where nobody expected us to be. We have our destiny in our hands.”

Match Statistic: Newcastle have failed to score in their last two matches at St James’ Park – they haven’t hit three blanks in a row at home since August 2007.

Prediction: Newcastle United 1-1 Arsenal

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