Captain Michael Owen, as expected, makes his first start of the season today, and he will be joined in attack by Shola Ameobi. for what is also his first start of the campaign.
This is a chance for Shola to show he’s not as mediocre as he looked in pre-season – time for Ameobi to produce for Kevin and Newcastle.
Joey Barton, again as expected, is named among the substitutes for the first time this season, and again teenage strikers Ryan Donaldson and Nile Ranger are on the bench.
Steven Taylor does return to the back four, in place of the impressive Seb Bassong, and Habib Beye, Fabricio Coloccini and Jose Enrique complete the impressive looking back four.
Nicky Butt, Danny Guthrie, Charles N’Zogbia and Jonas Gutierrez form a midfield quartet, again as expected.
The team almost picked itself because of the number of injuries in the squad to Viduka, Martins, Smith and Carroll.
As usual we’ll have a report at half time and one at full time.
Howay the Lads!
Arsenal: Manuel Almunia, Bacary Sagna, Kolo Toure, William Gallas (c), Gael Clichy, Emmanuel Eboue, Denilson, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri, Robin van Persie, Emmanuel Adebayor
Subs: Lukasz Fabianski, Carlos Vela, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Song, Johan Djourou, Nicklas Bendtner
Newcastle United: Shay Given, Habib Beye, Jose Enrqiue, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Danny Guthrie, Nicky Butt, Jonas Gutierrez, Charles N’Zogbia, Michael Owen (c), Shola Ameobi
Subs: Steve Harper, Sebastien Bassong, Joey Barton, David Edgar, Ben Tozer, Ryan Donaldson, Nile Ranger
Referee: Rob Styles