Good news for Newcastle fans today that Rob Elliot is back in goal at the Emirates and will replace Karl Darlow.
Cheick Tiote as expected comes into the side in place of the injured Vurnon Anita, so we don’t have too bad a side out today.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Petr Cech; Hector Bellerin, Per Mertesacker (c), Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal; Mathieu Flamini, Aaron Ramsey; Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott; Olivier Giroud
Substitutes: David Ospina, Kieran Gibbs, Gabriel Paulista, Calum Chambers, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Alex Iwobi, Joel Campbell
Newcastle (4-4-2): Rob Elliot; Daryl Janmaat, Chancel Mbemba, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Paul Dummett; Moussa Sissoko, Cheick Tiote, Jack Colback, Georginio Wijnaldum; Ayoze Perez, Aleksandar Mitrovic
Substitutes: Karl Darlow, Kevin Mbabu, Jamaal Lascelles, Siem de Jong, Yoan Gouffran, Florian Thauvin, Ivan Toney
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Greater Manchester)
So Rob has recovered from the stomach bug that forced him to miss the 1-0 defeat at West Brom last Monday.
Newcastle will play in the familiar 4-4-2 formation and it will be important that we start this game well and not let Arsenal get an early goal – and there’s no doubt they will be starting this game at a very fast tempo.
This is what Steve McClaren has said about Arsenal before the game today:
“It’s definitely one of our biggest tests of the season,” Arsenal have had some injuries but they’re still maintaining their form and getting results.”
“At this stage, I’d say they are certainly favorites for the title – but it’s only half-time.”
“But I believe in the squad that we have. They’ve shown already that they can compete with some of the biggest sides in the league and I expect them to put in a performance this weekend.”
“A collective organisation, good discipline and a certain amount of aggression will be required from us to get a result.”
Most fans think we will lose this game and that would be the 11th league defeat this season in 20 league games.