Hatem Ben Arfa

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor

 

Newcastle United entertain high-flying Arsenal at St. James' Park on Sunday in the Barclays Premier League (1.30pm kick-off).

The Gunners have topped the table for large parts of the season so far, but it is United who are the division's form team at the moment, picking up 22 points from a possible 27 in their last nine games.

Newcastle go into the fixture on the back of a 5-1 Boxing Day thumping of Stoke, while Arsenal also triumphed in midweek with a 3-1 victory away at West Ham.

When the sides met last term, the Londoners came out on top, winning a 7-3 thriller at the Emirates Stadium before recording a single-goal victory on Tyneside on the final day of the campiagn.

 

STAT ATTACK
Sunday's game is the 173rd match between the two clubs, and the 159th in the league.


TICKET NEWS
Only a small amount of tickets remain for this fixture. To secure your seat, click on the button below.

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LAST MEETING
19th May, 2013 Newcastle 0 Arsenal 1 (Koscielny 52)

Newcastle (4-3-3): Steve Harper; Mathieu Debuchy, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Adam Campbell 81); Yohan Cabaye (Vurnon Anita 57), Cheick Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez; Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse, Yoan Gouffran (Sylvain Marveaux 65)

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Wojciech Szczesny; Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs; Mikel Arteta (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 28), Aaron Ramsey; Tomas Rosicky, Santi Cazorla (Jack Wilshere 89), Theo Walcott; Lukas Podolski (Olivier Giroud 77)


FULL RECORD v ARSENAL
P172 W66 D38 L68 F238 A252


FORM GUIDE
(Last six games - all competitions)
Newcastle -
WWDWLW
Arsenal - WDLLDW


LAST LINE-UP
Newcastle (v Stoke, Premier League): Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon (Massadio Haidara 61); Moussa Sissoko, Vurnon Anita (Shola Ameobi 46), Yohan Cabaye; Hatem Ben Arfa, Loic Remy, Yoan Gouffran (Papiss Cisse 72)
Not used: Rob Elliot, James Tavernier, Sammy Ameobi, Hatem Ben Arfa

Arsenal (v West Ham, Premier League): Wojciech Szczesny; Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker, Thomas Vermaelen, Kieran Gibbs; Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey (Lukas Podolski 65); Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil (Mathieu Flamini 81), Santi Cazorla; Olivier Giroud (Nicklas Bendtner 85)
Not used: Lukasz Fabianski, Carl Jenkinson, Nacho Monreal, Serge Gnabry

TOP SCORER
Newcastle -
Loic Remy (10)
Arsenal - Aaron Ramsey (13)


TEAM NEWS
Newcastle - The Magpies welcome back Cheick Tiote, who has served a one-game ban, and it means manager Alan Pardew has an almost full squad to select from, with only long-term knee injury victim Ryan Taylor ruled out.

Arsenal - Jack Wilshere returns following suspension but the Gunners will be without fellow midfielder - and leading goalscorer - Aaron Ramsey, who has a thigh injury. Centre-back Laurent Koscielny faces a fitness test on a knee complaint, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee), Abou Diaby (knee) and Yaya Sanogo (back) all remain sidelined.


A WORD FROM BOTH CAMPS
Alan Pardew, Newcastle manager: "They are top of the league again. It is deserved. They have been the best team in the first half of the season. However, we are in great shape and our place will be rocking and rolling. It will not be easy for them to turn us over - we are looking forward to it."

Arsene Wenger, Arsenal manager: "Newcastle are in full confidence, they are doing well and won again on Boxing Day with a big score. Loic Remy is a very good striker, very quick and makes very good runs, so we have to keep him quiet. That will all be another test, but our team wants to do well, the character is great and our concentration is top."


REFEREE
Lee Probert (Wiltshire): 2013/14 record - 14 games, 28 yellow cards, 2 red cards


PLAYED FOR BOTH TEAMS
Sol Campbell, Andy Cole, George Eastham, Pat Howard, Malcolm Macdonald, Kenny Sansom


FANCY A FLUTTER?
To find the best odds for Sunday's match, thanks to our official betting partner 138.com, click here.


DID YOU KNOW?
Arsenal's full-backs have put in the highest amount of crosses of anyone in the Gunners' squad this season. Bacary Sagna and Kieran Gibbs have both put in 49 crosses.