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Newcastle vs. Arsenal: match preview

Kickoff: 10 AM EST, St. James' Park, Newcastle
TV Coverage: Fox Soccer Channel,, Fox Soccer for iPhone
SBN Newcastle Coverage: Coming Home Newcastle

Arsenal travel to Newcastle to take on the Magpies tomorrow at St. James' Park.  It is both teams' 25th Premier League game of the season.  Arsenal sit in second place with 49 points, five behind leaders Manchester United, while Newcastle are in tenth with 30 points, more or less equidistant between the Europa League places and the relegation zone.

Newcastle are undermanned at the moment, the transfer of Andy Carroll and the injury to Shola Ameobi leaving them with only three healthy strikers, Leon Best, Nile Ranger, and Peter Lovenkrands.  Ranger, of course, looked lively against Arsenal in the Carling Cup earlier this year, and his speed can always present a danger.

Arsenal, for their part, will be without Samir Nasri, Alex Song, Denilson, and possibly Theo Walcott, who has a slight ankle injury.  Lukasz Fabianski is out for the rest of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery, so Manuel Almunia will serve as a backup to Wojciech Szczesny, and that ain't bad.

Arsenal will be looking to take momentum forward from their comeback victory against Everton on Tuesday, and can put pressure on Man U with a win.  Man U is due to face Wolverhampton in the Midlands after Arsenal's match is over.

Possible lineup:


Sagna    Djourou    Koscielny    Clichy

Wilshere    Rosicky


Bendtner     van Persie      Arshavin

maybe Walcott in for Bendtner, if he's healthy enough.