Arsenal vs Newcastle United – Preview of Game

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We have an important FA Cup 4th Round Cup Tie at the Emirates tomorrow, and a Newcastle win against Arsenal may not be that much of a fantasy, as it would have been a couple of weeks ago.

Arsenal of course are coming off their worst defeat of the season when they were thumped 5-1 by Tottenham Hotspur in the semi finals second leg of the Carling Cup which saw Spurs reach the final. However, it was a tremendous game to watch, with both teams attacking each other end to end – the way the game was meant to be played.

This may be a good time or a bad time to meet the London giants, but manager Kevin Keegan insists it’s a good time for Newcastle to be playing Arsenal.

On the Arsenal side of thing Philippe Senderos is available again after missing the Carling Cup tie with an injury to his nose. Johan Djourou (groin) and Robin van Persie (thigh) though are still missing, and Denilson his a hamstring injury and will be out for about 3 weeks or so.

Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue and Alex Song are at the African Cup of Nations.

On the Newcastle side we are missing Africans – Martins, Faye, Beye and Geremi. Mark Viduka will again miss the game with a calf muscle strain and Joey Barton is still unavailable, due to his strict bail conditions and not being match fit.

Emre will miss the game while serving the second of his two match match ban, for being sent off against Stoke City.

Keegan will pick an attacking Newcastle team in a 4-4-2 formation again, and we think Alan Smith will get a start in his best position – up front – alongside our new captain Michael Owen. We were pleased that Kevin said Alan’s best position is up front, so hopefully we’ll never see him on the wing again, although he can do a decent job in central midfield.

We think Kevin will select the following team:

Carr Taylor Cacapa Enrique
Milner Butt N’Zogbia Duff
Smith Owen
Subs: Harper Rozehnal Ameobi Edgar Troisi

This team gives Alan Smith a chance to partner Owen up front and also gives Charles N’Zogbia another shot at the attacking midfield position, which currently is up for grabs. We don’t have too much in reserve, and with 17 year-old Kazenga Lua Lua being injured, we may see 19 year-old James Troisi, our young Australian, given a turn on the subs bench along with Ameobi.

We think this will be a good attacking game to watch and we’d like to see a lot more belief coming from the Newcastle side, now that Kevin has had a full week to get his unshakable belief in himself and the team, across to the players.

Both managers play attacking football and are so good for the game, and both seem to respect each other, and we could get an excellent attacking game tomorrow – hope so. We’re not expecting too much from the game in truth, but we’d like to see the lads have a go – and we’re sure they’ll do just that.

Fortune favors the brave – and anything is possible – now that Kevin’s back. 😀

What do you think? What team should Kevin field?

Let us know – comments and opinions always welcome – just keep it decent for the youngsters.

Arsenal supporters are also very welcome to our site.