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Newcastle v Arsenal

Kubada Cagta

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Newcastle v Arsenal

Postby Netanel » Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:50 pm

Venue: St James' Park Date: Saturday, 21 March Kick-off: 1730 GMT
Coverage: Score updates on Final Score, BBC Sport website and BBC Radio 5 Live; live text commentary on BBC Sport website; Highlights on Match of the Day


Midfielder Kevin Nolan goes straight back into the Newcastle squad after completing a three-match suspension.

Defender Habib Beye has resumed training after recovered from ankle ligament damage and may feature.

Arsenal keeper Manuel Almunia (ankle) should be available while defender Mikael Silvestre could be in contention after 10 weeks out with a calf injury.

Captain Cesc Fabregas (knee) and striker Eduardo (groin) are training again but are not expected to feature.


Newcastle (from): Harper, Forster, Krul, S. Taylor, Beye, Bassong, Coloccini, Enrique, Edgar, Cacapa, Butt, Duff, R. Taylor, Gutierrez, Nolan, Lovenkrands, Geremi, Ameobi, Smith, Martins, Owen, Carroll.

Arsenal (from): Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Nasri, Denilson, Song, Walcott, Arshavin, Van Persie, Fabianski, Djourou, Gibbs, Vela, Bendtner, Eboue, Diaby, Silvestre.


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger:
"We have prepared ourselves mentally to give absolutely everything in every game.

"It is down to us. I would like to change the order of the top four to get in front of one or two teams.

"The title is not as much done as people think it is. Manchester United has a huge advantage, because they are four points ahead and a game in hand.

"But it is still open, because they all still have to play us, so it will be interesting."

Make your Premier League predictions

Arsenal continue their defence of the only unbeaten Premier League record in 2009, away to Newcastle, who've won just once this calendar year, and have only goal difference between themselves and the relegation zone.

The Magpies are the top-flight's draw specialists with 11 of their 29 matches finishing all square; in total Newcastle and Arsenal have drawn 21 league games this term.

These clubs have also had a total eight players sent off in Premier League games; Newcastle five, Arsenal three.

Arsenal have won their last three meetings with Newcastle in the Premier League and FA Cup, all by 3-0 scorelines, but all three have been at the Emirates Stadium.

The Magpies recorded their only victory in 18 league and cup meetings with Arsenal, when Nol Solano scored the only goal of the game in this corresponding fixture on 10 December 2005.

Distance between the clubs: 280 miles (450 kilometres)
This is Arsenal's longest journey of this Premier League season, and the longest of any top-flight club this weekend.


Club stats

16th 29 points
Highest achievable after Saturday's matches: 14th
Lowest could fall: 18th

Best & Worst categories in 2008-09 Premier League

1. Pressing for a first win in five Premier League matches; drawn two and lost two since beating West Bromwich Albion 2-3 at the Hawthorns on 7 February.

2. That victory is their only win in 13 games in all competitions, and in 11 Premier League matches.

3. Kept just one clean sheet in 12 top-flight games; the goalless draw, home to Everton on 22 February.

4. Lost one of the 10 Premier League games in which they opened the scoring (home to Manchester United in the most recent on 4 March); failed to win any of the 16 matches in which the opening goal has been conceded (lost 11).

5. Already lost home and away to Blackburn. The Gunners could become the second of a possible four clubs to complete the double over them. Aston Villa is the only club in the top-half they have beaten.

6. Lost the last two home matches against 'Big Four' clubs; 1-5 against Liverpool and 1-2 to Manchester United.

7. Not won in 15 against the quartet of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United; the 2-1 home win over Liverpool on 10 February 2007 is their only triumph in 21 fixtures against the four clubs.

8. Registered one Premier League victory against a London club this term; the 2-1 triumph over Tottenham at St James' Park on 21 December 2008.

9. This is the first of back-to-back fixtures against London's top two clubs. Chelsea visit Tyneside on 4 April. There are six-pointers scheduled, away to Stoke on 11 April and home to Portsmouth on 27 April, and Liverpool and Aston Villa are still to be visited among their eight remaining fixtures following this.




Club stats

4th 52 points
Highest achievable after Saturday's matches: 4th
Lowest could realistically fall: 4th

Best & Worst categories in 2008-09 Premier League

1. Tuesday's come-from-behind victory over Hull in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, means they have suffered just one defeat in 20 in all competitions.

2. Won seven and drawn eight of their last 15 Premier League matches. Not lost in the top-flight since a 3-0 defeat, away to Manchester City on 22 November.

3. Kept clean sheets in five of the last six league games, conceding just one goal in those half dozen fixtures. Let in only three Premier League goals in 2009; fewer than any other club.

4. Scored a total of seven goals in two Premier League outings, after failing to net in the previous four.

5. Down by 14 points on this same stage last season, when top of the table.

6. Lost only one and won 11 of 15 league games in which they have scored first; the defeat being home to Hull.

7. Already beaten Bolton, Blackburn and West Brom home and away. Newcastle could become the fourth of a possible eight teams they could do the double over. Hull and Stoke are the only bottom-half clubs they have lost to.

8. Won three and drawn four of the last seven away games in the Premier League; kept one clean sheet in nine on the road (the goalless draw with Tottenham on 8 February), and 23 goals in 14 games makes theirs the third strongest attack away from home in the highest league.

9. Won one and drawn three of their four Premier League matches against North-East clubs this season; the 2-1 defeat away to Middlesbrough on 9 December 2007 is their only loss in 16 games against clubs from the region.

10. Their remaining fixtures includes game against all three of the other 'Big Four' clubs; home to Chelsea and away to Manchester United and Liverpool.



Squad profiles

Fabricio COLOCCINI is the only remaining player to have started every one of Newcastle's Premier League matches this season.

Michael OWEN is the club's top Premier League scorer with eight goals.

If selected:-

Kevin NOLAN will be making his 300th career league appearance (Bolton and Newcastle).

Shola AMEOBI will be making his 250th appearance in Newcastle colours.

If on the field from the outset:-

Steven TAYLOR will be making his 100th league start for the Magpies.



Squad profiles

Robin VAN PERSIE is Arsenal's top Premier League scorer with nine goals.

VAN PERSIE scored two of those nine goals in the reverse fixture with Newcastle in August.

Manuel ALMUNIA is the only remaining player to have started all of Arsenal's Premier League matches this season.

If selected:-

Nicklas BENDTNER will be making his 50th career Premier League appearance - all in Arsenal colours.

Arsenal are unbeaten in seven league and cup matches against Newcastle.

The Gunners are hoping to wrap up a third Premier League double over the Tyneside club, and first since 2004-05.

Home and away
League (inc PL): Newcastle 61 wins, Arsenal 56, Draws 34
Prem: Newcastle 8 wins, Arsenal 15, Draws 8

at Newcastle only
League (inc PL): Newcastle 40 wins, Arsenal 18, Draws 17
Prem: Newcastle 5 wins, Arsenal 4, Draws 6

Newcastle United 1-1 Arsenal
5 November 2007 - Ref: Mike Dean
Newcastle scorer: Taylor 60
Arsenal scorer: Adebayor 4

Arsenal 3-0 Newcastle United
30 August 2008 - Ref: Rob Styles
Arsenal scorers: Van Persie 18 pen, 41, Denilson 59

Mark Halsey (Lancashire)

Premier League referees' table
Mark Halsey's 2008-09 Premier League card count


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