Arsenal have been handed a boost ahead of Saturday’s match with Newcastle as Olivier Giroud and Tomas Rosicky have both recovered from illness and are available for the game.
Both Andre Santos and Abou Diaby are expected to return to training next week having been out with long-term injuries.
Newcastle have eight injuries, the latest being Vurnon Anita and Jonas Gutierrez. The visitors will have the return of Cheick Tiote from suspension but they will lose Mike Williamson due to picking up 5 bookings.
This is Arsenal’s first game in a week having had Boxing Day off due to a tube strike in London which postponed their fixture with West Ham. A lot of team’s complain about the festive period and how many games are on your schedule before and after Christmas. In fact players like Per Mertesacker who are used to long winter breaks in Germany, come here and start playing lots of games in a short period of time, don’t like it. So this is as close to a winter break that they will get!. Generally speaking this postponement of the West Ham game was helpful for player freshness. They have a trip to Southampton on New Year’s Day before things start to become relatively normal again.
Arsenal are in good form having won their last three in the league. Newcastle have won just 1 of their last 4 games and haven’t been in good form at all this year. However, a good performance at Old Trafford on Boxing Day where they lost out to a last minute United winner will have given them hope for today’s fixture.
As I type, we are about to kick off… so let’s hope for a great result!