Arsenal visit St James’ Park this afternoon to face John Carver’s Newcastle, and the Gunners will hope to move on from their Champions League exit in midweek.
Arsene Wenger’s side won 2-0 against Monaco on Wednesday night in the 2nd leg of their last-16 tie, but this was not enough to ensure passage to the quarter-finals, and the French outfit progressed on the away goals rule with the aggregate score stood at 3-3.
However, while Arsenal were eliminated from the last-16 of the Champions League for a fifth successive season, the Gunners will be able to draw inspiration from an impressive performance which saw Olivier Giroud score his 15th goal of the season.
What is more, the North London club can also find solace in the fact that they have won 7 of their last 8 matches, a run which has seen them climb to 3rd in the Premier League, only one point adrift of 2nd-placed Manchester City, and reach the FA Cup semi-final.
Newcastle, however, have been less fortunate in recent times. John Carver’s side have only won 2 of their last 10 matches, and this poor run of form was compounded by the 3-0 defeat to Everton last Sunday.
The Tyneside club also have a challenging match in prospect, not only because of Arsenal’s recent form, but also because John Carver only has 13 fit outfield players to choose from, as Papiss Cisse and Fabricio Coloccini serve their respective suspensions.
The Newcastle boss will not be able to call upon Paul Dummett, Massadio Haidara or Cheick Tiote, who are all suffering from knee injuries, while Steven Taylor, Mehdi Abeid, Siem de Jong and Rolando Aarons are all unavailable.
It is expected that Tomas Rosicky will return to the Arsenal squad, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere and Mathieu Debuchy are all still injured.
The Magpies have lost 3 of their 4 last matches, and as a result, one would expect Arsenal to win this tie.