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Arsenal vs. Newcastle United: match preview

Kickoff: 8:30 AM EDT (don't forget to set those clocks back tonight!)
Emirates Stadium
Coverage: and Fox Soccer Plus

Tomorrow, Arsenal welcome Newcastle United to the Emirates for the eleventh Premier League fixture of the season.  Newcastle come in on the back of a massive 5-1 win in the Tyneside derby against Sunderland, while Arsenal managed to beat West Ham United 1-0 with a late winner before succumbing to a fired up Shakhtar Donetsk side in Ukraine in midweek.

There is good news for Arsenal on the injury front for tomorrow.  Although Arsenal were forced to start a weaker midfield in Donetsk, Cesc Fabregas could return to the side following a fitness test.  Alex Song and Denilson will both be available.  Andrei Arshavin has overcome his virus and can play as well.  Jack Wilshere will also be available after completing his three-game suspension.  Although he has returned to training, Robin van Persie is not yet ready to play, and Abou Diaby faces the possibility of surgery for a piece of bone in his ankle.  Kieran Gibbs is still out as well.

Newcastle continue to run the Andy Carroll / Kevin Nolan destruction hour, and it's clear that Arsenal's defense will not only have to limit service into the area but cope with the physical presence of Newcastle's players.  Maintaining possession as much as possible and closing down the ball before it enters the box will be the order of the day, but Newcastle have shown the ability to score in bunches this year, and the task facing Arsenal will not be an easy one.

Manchester United earned three points today with late winner at Old Trafford against Wolverhampton, and both Chelsea and Manchester City play tomorrow after Arsenal's match.

Possible lineup:


Sagna             Squillaci             Koscielny          Clichy

Song            Wilshere


Nasri              Chamakh            Arshavin

With Theo Waclott coming off the bench in the second half...there doesn't seem to be a way to sit Nasri right now, as good as Walcott looked against Newcastle in the Carling Cup two weeks ago.