Arsenal vs. Newcastle United Preview

Saturday evening’s game in the Premier League sees Arsenal welcome Newcastle United to the Emirates Stadium.

Three straight league wins have catapulted the Gunners right back into contention for a Champions League qualification place and victory here could lift them to fourth if other results fall in their favour.

Olivier Giroud and Tomas Rosicky are set to return to the starting line-up following illness, though the game comes to soon for Andre Santos and Abou Diaby, who are expected to return to full training next week.

Top scorer Theo Walcott is joint favourite with Giroud to get the first goal of the game, with 6.0 (5/1) the best price on offer.

Arsenal are odds on for the victory with Paddy Power offering 1.5 (1/2). Newcastle are generously available at 8.5 (15/2) with Bet Victor, who also offer 4.8 (19/5).

The visitor’s last minute defeat at Old Trafford on Boxing Day was their seventh loss in nine games, and leaves them just five points clear of the relegation zone.

Alan Pardew has to contend with injuries to several key players including Jonas Gutierrez, Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye, though Check Tiote is available after serving a one match ban. Mike Williamson will miss out after collecting a fifth booking of the campaign last time out.

Top scorer Demba Ba, who has been strongly linked with a move to the Emirates ahead of the transfer window opening on Tuesday is an 11.0 (10/1) shot to score first, whilst Papiss Cisse is available at 13.0 (12/1) with Bet Victor.