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Newcastle v Arsenal: Harper Starts

NUFC Logo Newcastle United FC

Steve Harper will bring down the curtain on 20 years at Newcastle United this afternoon against Arsenal

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor


Steve Harper will bring down the curtain on 20 years at Newcastle United this afternoon with a starting spot against Arsenal in the final game of the 2012/13 Barclays Premier League season.

The goalkeeper, who arrived in 1993 from Seaham Red Star, makes his 199th appearance for the Club in the absence of injured first-choice goalkeeper Tim Krul and suspended deputy Rob Elliot.

Harper will also captain the side today.

The 38-year-old's inclusion is one of two changes to the Magpies' starting line-up from last weekend's victory at Queens Park Rangers. Centre-back Steven Taylor also returns following illness in place of Mike Williamson.

United will line up in a 4-3-3 formation, with skipper-for-the-day Harper protected by a back four of Mathieu Debuchy, Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.

The midfield trio will again be made up of Yohan Cabaye, Cheick Tiote and Jonas Gutierrez, with Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse and Yoan Gouffran providing the firepower in a three-pronged forward line.

On the substitutes' bench there is a place for young goalkeeper Jak Alnwick, who is joined by Danny Simpson, James Perch, Vurnon Anita, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan and Adam Campbell.


Newcastle United (4-3-3): Steve Harper (c); Mathieu Debuchy, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa; Yohan Cabaye, Cheick Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez; Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse, Yoan Gouffran

Substitutes: Jak Alnwick, Danny Simpson, James Perch, Vurnon Anita, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan, Adam Campbell


Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Wojciech Szczesny; Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs; Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey; Tomas Rosicky, Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott; Lukas Podolski

Substitutes: Lukasz Fabianski, Nacho Monreal, Thomas Vermaelen, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho, Olivier Giroud


Referee: Howard Webb (Yorkshire)