Monday, 12 March 2012

Newcastle (H)

After an impressive game midweek, we have all accepted that this won't be our year for Champions League glory so now we focus on ensuring we're in with the running of winning it next year. Newcastle are a team that have really sprung up this season, the squad are all pulling in the right direction and they deserve to be where they are. However tonight hopefully we can knock them down a peg and put them 8 points behind us. More importantly a win will restore our 3 point gap over Chelsea and bring us within a point of Tottenham who conveniently lost at the weekend.

Newcastle will be no pushover though they play good football and have a real sense of belief about their style of play. It must also not be forgotten that in recent seasons they have had a good run against us, unbeaten in the last 3. Over the long run we have a much better record though. 9 win in 12 PL games or something like that anyway.

Our team tonight is a bit of a guess, we have Arteta, Benayoun and Ramsey fit to return. However Ramsey I don't think will feature as Rosicky has hit some form. Arteta may well start alongside Song in the middle. Assuming we play 4-4-2 I think Wenger will play Gervinho and Oxlade-Chamberlain on the wings with Walcott in the secondary striker role behind RVP. But there is a lot of talk about Rosicky perhaps slotting in behind RVP. The team is a tricky one to pick but we shall see what occurs as the evening plays out. Santos also returns but I don't expect him to play as he's been out for around 4 months.

Newcastle much like us seem to be quite reliant on Demba Ba scoring, or they were until they sign Cisse. The two form strikers in the league will be on show tonight. That said Ba hasn't been as prolific since his return from ACoN, but he has to score at some point or does he? (Torres). Anyway aside from those 2 Leon Best and Ben Arfa are the other two that I think you need to be wary of. The defence are in for no easy ride tonight despite the fact that Newcastle are at 7s to win??

In other positive Arsenal new Thomas Rosicky has signed a new deal for us tying him down for another two years and nobody could argue that he doesn't deserve it. He's had a good season and recently has scored twice in 3 games. Hopefully his form will continue.

So big game tonight in the run in for the Champions League places lets hope our solid form can continue.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Newcastle