Arsenal v Newcastle Preview - Team News & Predicted Line-Ups

Moussa Sissoko expected to make his 100th appearance for Newcastle.

If there's one thing we can gleam from Steve McClaren inexplicably fielding the same 11 on Monday just two days after a gruelling 90 minutes against Everton, it's that he doesn't believe he has an actual squad of players at Newcastle United he can trust. The game after the boxing day fixtures is historically the match where you would usually rotate but it saw the likes of Florian Thauvin, Siem De Jong, Cheick Tiote and Yoan Gouffran stationary on the bench at the first whistle, and you just have to wonder if McClaren has given up on anyone outside his first 11-13 men. Against Arsenal today, the safe bet would once again be on Newcastle being unchanged though McClaren is forced into one move with a hamstring injury seeing Vurnon Anita sidelined, with Tiote expected to be his replacement. Rob Elliott is also a huge doubt after being sent home for training on Wednesday with the stomach bug that saw him pull out late from Monday's game at West Brom. Karl Darlow is expected to subsidise once again. The only other somewhat plausible switch you might expect McClaren to make would be swapping De Jong for Mitrovic who has looked tied and ineffective in his last few games but the Magpies boss still doesn't fully understand how best to use the classy Dutchman and likely doesn't fancy him as an out and out forward.

Missing for Newcastle today are Tim Krul, Papiss Cisse, Steven Taylor, Massadio Haidara and Gabriel Obertan. Despite Rolando Aarons and forgotten men Sylvain Marveaux and Emmanuel Riviere reporting for training this week, the report is they aren't ready to make a return to action just yet. Moussa Sissoko will make his 100th appearance in the Premier League for Newcastle if he plays, as expected. Interestingly, he's never been utilised as a substitute in his league career at Newcastle, all 100 games being starts. For Arsenal, Alexis Sanchez, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin and Jack Wilshere miss out. Mathieu Flamini should be back in the side after missing Monday's 2-0 home victory over Bournemouth with an ankle injury. Expected line-ups; ARSENAL: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Walcott, Giroud Subs: Ospina, Gabriel, Gibbs, Chambers, Debuchy, Campbell, Iwobi NUFC: Darlow, Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Dummett, Tiote, Sissoko, Colback, Wijinaldum, Perez, Mitrovic Subs: Woodman, Lascelles, Mbabu, Gouffran, De Jong, Thauvin, Toney sources - bbc football,


Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.