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Newcastle v Arsenal: Sissoko Starts

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor

At St. James' Park


Moussa Sissoko has been handed a starting spot for Newcastle United in Saturday's lunchtime kick-off (12.45pm kick-off) against Arsenal in the Barclays Premier League, after recovering from a groin injury.

The French international midfielder has missed the Magpies' last two fixtures with the complaint, which he picked up at Swansea City earlier this month.

However, Sissoko is back in the fold for United's fixture against the Gunners at St. James' Park, and his inclusion is one of three changes made by head coach Steve McClaren from last weekend's goalless draw at Manchester United.

The others alterations see right-back Daryl Janmaat return from serving a one-game suspension, and new signing Florian Thauvin start his first Premier League match.

Ayoze Perez, Steven Taylor and Gabriel Obertan are the trio who make way, and they all take up roles on the substitutes' bench.

Newcastle are expected to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with goalkeeper Tim Krul behind a back four of Janmaat, Chancel Mbemba, captain Fabricio Coloccini and Massadio Haidara.

Vurnon Anita and Jack Colback will anchor the hosts' midfield, with a trio of Sissoko, Georginio Wijnaldum and Thauvin ahead of them.

And they will be tasked with supplying the ammunition for Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, who will be looking to break his Magpies' duck against Arsenal.

Joining Taylor, Obertan and Perez on a strong substitutes' bench are Papiss Cisse, Siem de Jong, Cheick Tiote and goalkeeper Karl Darlow.


Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul; Daryl Janmaat, Chancel Mbemba, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Massadio Haidara; Vurnon Anita, Jack Colback; Moussa Sissoko, Georginio Wijnaldum, Florian Thauvin; Aleksandar Mitrovic

Substitutes: Karl Darlow, Steven Taylor, Cheick Tiote, Siem de Jong, Gabriel Obertan, Ayoze Perez, Papiss Cisse


Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Petr Cech; Hector Bellerin, Gabriel, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal; Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla (c); Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis Sanchez; Theo Walcott

Substitutes: David Ospina, Mathieu Debuchy, Kieran Gibbs, Calum Chambers, Mikel Arteta, Joel Campbell, Olivier Giroud


Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)

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