Arsenal have won their last eight Premier League games against Newcastle United heading into Saturday’s latest encounter at Emirates Stadium.
Mathieu Flamini is fit to return for Arsenal after setting out out the recent win over Bournemouth with a minor ankle problem, but Alexis Sanchez (hamstring) is not pencilled in to return until next weekend in the FA Cup, while Jack Wilshere (leg), Mikel Arteta (calf), Francis Coquelin, Danny Welbeck, Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky (all knee) are still out.
Newcastle, meanwhile, will be without Vurnon Anita after he limped off with a hamstring problem during Monday’s 1-0 defeat at West Brom. The Dutchman has become the latest addition to a lengthy casualty list which also includes goalkeeper Rob Elliot, who is battling a stomach bug.
Rolando Aarons (foot) and Emmanuel Riviere (knee) are at least back in training, but Tim Krul (knee ligaments), Mike Williamson, Steven Taylor (both hamstring), Massadio Haidara (knee), Gabriel Obertan (also hamstring) and Papiss Cisse (groin) remain sidelined.
- In the last 14 Premier League meetings between these sides Arsenal have won 11. In the other three games Arsenal have had a player sent off and lost one and drew two.
- Arsenal have now won eight successive Premier League games against Newcastle United.
- There have been 18 goals scored in the last three Premier League meetings between these two sides at the Emirates Stadium.
- Olivier Giroud has scored eight goals in seven Premier League games against the Magpies.
- Giroud has managed five headers on target against Newcastle in the Premier League and scored with all of them.
- Arsene Wenger has won 10 of his 11 meetings with Steve McClaren in the Premier League (L1).
- Newcastle United didn’t manage a single shot on target and had just one attempt overall when they played Arsenal at St James’ Park earlier this season.
- Arsenal head in to 2016 having won the most points (81) and matches (25) in the Premier League in 2015.
- The Gunners have dropped just two points in their last seven Premier League home games, winning 19 of a possible 21 points there in this period.
- Newcastle United have scored just six goals in their last 15 Premier League away trips.