Arsenal v Newcastle United: Match Preview

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Football News

Arsenal v Newcastle United
Premier League
Emirates Stadium
Monday, March 12; 20:00

Team News

Midfield pair Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey are expected to return for Arsenal after head and ankle injuries respectively.

However the game could come too soon for Yossi Benayoun (illness) and long-term absentee Andre Santos.

Striker Peter Lovenkrands is set to miss the rest of Newcastle United's season with a thigh injury, the only fresh injury concern for manager Alan Pardew.

Wenger expects five-way fight

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is expecting the fight for third spot in the Premier League to be contested by five teams in the twilight of the campaign.

The Gunners can move within a point of third place Tottenham Hotspur with victory over Newcastle United, themselves looking to cement a top six place with third second successive win at The Emirates Stadium.

And Wenger predicts a titanic tussle for third spot.

“We want to finish as high as we can,” said Wenger. “Is it about Tottenham? It will be difficult because we know that we face a massive battle there with Tottenham, with Chelsea, with Newcastle and maybe Liverpool.

“We have created the momentum but we know until the end of the season that every game will be a massive one for us. What is at stake is to be in the top four, if possible in the top three, but it will be difficult for everybody.”

While Arsenal's Champions league hopes are somewhat back on track after four back-to-back league wins, Alan Pardew has warned his Newcastle players that their top four dream will be over should they fail to win on Monday evening.

The North London side can extend the gap to fourth to eight points should they defeat The Toon, and Pardew is adamant should that occur, his side's top four dream will be put to bed.

“The Champions League is over for us if we don’t win in my view,” he said.

“I don’t think tonight is a game that is going to decide our Europa League fate – the next 10 games will do that.

“But this one is about the Champions League. If we win, we are going to be throwing our names in the hat.”

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