One advantage Newcastle have over teams like Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham this season, is that we do not have mid-week games in Europe, which can bring injuries to players, and are a test of the squads at those big clubs.
Laurent Koscielny – likely to miss Newcastle game
Arsenal easily beat Galatasaray during the week 3-1 to qualify for the knock-out rounds of the Champions League, something they have done every season under Arsene Wenger, since he arrived at the Gunners in 1996.
The good news for Arsenal is that Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini picked up knocks on Tuesday in the first half, but they were taken off at half time as a precaution, and they will be fit to play on Saturday against Newcastle.
However, Arsenal do have some in juries to defenders and they include French International center-back Laurent Koscielny who is still doubtful for the game and has been missing recently.
Spaniard Nacho Monreal is also out with an injury, picked up in the 1-0 win ar West Brom in late November, and he is likely to be out on Saturday too.
Calum Chambers is banned from playing on Saturday because he picked up two yellow cards and was sent off in the 3-2 defeat at Stoke City last Saturday.
So the only recognized center-back available for Arsenal seems to be German center-back Per Mertesacker.
Former Newcastle right back Mathieu Debuchy made his comeback at Galatasaray, and he is available to play against his former team, along with Kieran Gibbs at left back.
Newcastle are waiting on the fitness of captain Coloccini and young 19 year-old winger Rolando Aarons, and we should hear more of the injury situation of both teams today at the managers’ press conferences.
Newcastle top the Premier League injury list with 10 players out at the moment and Arsenal are next in line with eight players out.
What do you think?
Note: Two of our readers – Robert Cropper and Joseph English – are Newcastle University students and for their third year dissertation they have chosen to focus on the question “Has There Been a Decline in Atmosphere at British Stadiums?” with a specific focus on Newcastle United.
They need as many questionnaires filled out as possible – please see if you can help them here.
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