Arsenal vs Newcastle by Duke
Anyway Wenger's team were the best performing Premier League team in 2015 & also reached the halfway point of the season on top of the table. But the challenge remains for them to go the distance over the course of a season and deliver the club’s 1st title in 12 years.... Right now, Arsenal secured 81 points which is 9 more than their closest competitors Manchester City &&&&&&& a 2-0 win against Bournemouth meant they finished 2015 on top of the table that matters, alongside surprise package Leicester City.
Wenger could have Mathieu Flamini (ankle) back, although Mikel Arteta (fitness) and Alexis Sanchez (hamstring) remain out as Arsenal target a ninth consecutive Premier League win over struggling Newcastle, who sit third-bottom after back-to-back defeats to Everton and West Brom...I hope sanchez will be back soon !!!!
Let me say something about Giroud who might have his chances of returning to the scoresheet as Newcastle make their way to the Emirates. Giroud – who still managed an assist in the 2-0 win over the Cherries – has now earned points in eight of the last 11 Gameweeks and faces a defence that is second only to Sunderland for goals conceded so far.
As for newcastle ...the injury problems remain, with Papiss Cisse and Tim Krul among those still ruled out. Goalkeeper Rob Elliot could return after missing out in the 1-0 defeat to West Brom last time out through illness....Looks like the away team have developed a habit this season of saving their best performances for the bigger games and they could do so again on Saturday. But the balance of probability lies with a comfortable win for Arsenal. Newcastle have a soft underbelly and Arsenal have the ability to exploit it against opponents who they have beaten in their last eight meetings.
Arsenal have won the last eight meetings between the sides.
Newcastle have tasted victory in just three of their last 29 Premier League meetings with Arsenal (D8, L18).
The sides' only previous meeting on 2 January came in 1996 when Kevin Keegan's Newcastle went seven points clear at the top of the table after beating Arsenal 2-0 at St James' Park, with the late Pavel Srnicek in goal. Arsene Wenger took over at Arsenal six months later.
Newcastle didn't manage a single shot on target when they were beaten 1-0 by Arsenal at St James' Park earlier this season.
Eighteen goals have been scored in the last three Premier League meetings between the sides at the Emirates.
Arsenal have won four of their last five Premier League games.
The Gunners have been victorious in six of their last seven home league matches.
Their only home league defeat came on the opening day, when they lost 2-0 to West Ham.
Mesut Ozil has contributed 16 assists this season, and is only four short of Thierry Henry's Premier League record of 20 (set in 2002-03).
Olivier Giroud has scored eight goals in seven Premier League games against the Magpies.
Newcastle have scored just five away goals this season, the lowest total in the Premier League.
In total the Magpies have failed to score in 10 of their last 15 away league games.
Newcastle have had the fewest shots in the Premier League this season (171).
They picked up seven red cards in 2015, more than any other Premier League team.
Newcastle also conceded a joint-high 69 Premier League goals last year - equal with Aston Villa.
Steve McClaren has lost 10 of his 11 Premier League meetings against Arsene Wenger. His sole victory came in September 2005 as his then-Middlesbrough side won 2-1 at home.
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