Arsenal vs. Newcastle United
Dec 29, 2012
Arsenal host Newcastle at the Emirates stadium today looking for their 4th consecutive win. After an extra day of rest due to the tube day strike in London, Arsenal did not play the boxing day fixture along with Westham which means that the Gunners will be fresh after the travel from the West Brom match. Meanwhile their opponents come into the match after a grueling encounter with league leaders Manchester United. It was a match to forget for the magpies, as they went ahead 3 times only to see United come back every time and finally Chicarito scored the winning goal in the 90th minute.
Arseanl will be floating with confidence after securing 9 points out of the possible 9 at the start of the festive period. As it stands, the Gunners are at 7th place behind West Brom and Everton but have a match in hand. A win tonight will move them back to the top 4 and still have an extra match at hand. Christmas sure looks good for the Arsenal faithful.
Arsenal pretty much have their entire first choice for selection with the exception of Diaby, which is a pretty rare occurrence. Giroud returns to the first team after recovering from an illness he suffered last week. Which means Giroud will be available for the starting berth as a striker. Though Arsenal managed to win all their games without their striker, Theo Walcott did not contribute much to the cause playing as a striker. It il be interesting to see wht the manager decides, as Ox who replaced Theo in the wings did have a good run. It will be either Walcott in the wings, or Giroud rested to play Ox in the wings and continue with Walcott up front.
Mean while for Alan Pardew the misery continues as has not been helped by injuries to a number of his key players, meaning that Romain Amalfitano could make his first league appearance for the club.
The managers gave their pre-match talk and the interviews circled around the incident last week at Old Trafford.
Arsene Wenger on Alex Ferguson:
“Should you behave like that? No. I did not always behave like I should and you can call that a bad example, yes. The message it sends out when you look at the pictures is just not to behave like that. We go sometimes overboard on the touchline and when we do it we have to be punished, it is as simple as that. (If) it is me or Ferguson or anybody else in the world, the rules are the rules. It is not rules for one person and the rules for another person, it is the same for everybody.”
Alan Pardew on Alex Ferguson:
“Mike Dean might feel slightly disappointed he didn’t do something about it because the pressure on the officials is tough to take for a referee. Sometimes when you reflect on a game and look back on it, maybe you might have acted differently. We do that as managers and I’m sure he might think that as a referee. Of course, it’s an emotional game. Apparently they had a cordial discussion. I’ve had a few of them myself but sometimes ended up in the stands with that cordial discussion.”
- Newcastle have won just one of their last 10 Premier League games against Arsenal (W1 D5 L4).
- The Gunners have had a player sent off in three of their last four Premier League games against Newcastle.
- The Gunners haven’t won back to back Premier League games at home since April.
- Arsenal have won their last three Premier League games, the joint best current run in the division (along with Chelsea).
- Mikel Arteta has made an average of 87 passes per game this season, more than any other player.
- Newcastle have played the highest proportion of long passes this season (17%), Arsenal the second lowest (8%).
- The Gunners have only won four of their last 11 Premier League home games (W4 D4 L3).
- Newcastle are 10 points worse off than they were at this point last season.
- The last time Newcastle had fewer points after 19 games in the top-flight was 1988-89 (17). They were relegated at the end of that campaign.
- Arsenal have made 11 errors leading directly to goals, more than any other side.
Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Gibbs; Arteta, Cazorla, Wilshere; Podolski, Walcott , Giroud.
Newcastle: Krul; Perch, Simpson, Coloccini, Santon; Amalfitano, Obertan, Marveaux, Bigirimana; Cisse, Ba.
Prediction: 2-1 victory for the home side.