Arsene Wenger will want his team to bounce back from the shocking 5-1 defeat to Tottenham in midweek. What better way to do it than smash a team like Newcastle? Ok, smashing United, Chelsea, Liverpool or Spurs would be better, but Newcastle is still a good choice.
Arsenal are not the only team at The Emirates today with something to prove. Kevin Keegan will be desperate to get his side back to winning ways as soon as possible after a bore draw against Bolton last weekend.
With a manager like Keegan at the healm at Newcastle, there’s a good chance they’ll come and have a go – something Arsene Wenger will certainly be hoping for.
Arsene Wenger says that although he wants to win the FA Cup, the Premiership and Champions League always come first: ‘The Carling Cup was never the focus of the season for us.
‘I knew before it started if we were in a good position in the Champions League and the Premier League in January then I would not gamble and play with a full side in the Carling Cup. That is why we didn’t. So I have to accept that this kind of incident can happen.
‘Now we want to bounce back from the disappointment on Tuesday night and we want to do well on Saturday.
‘When I am in the situation when I have to choose between the FA Cup and the Premier League or the Champions League, I will prioritise the two other competitions aswell.
‘But at the moment the FA Cup is the next game and we want to win it.’
Toon ‘Keeper Shay Given says the next few days are important for new gaffer Keegan: ‘I guess these two games against a top team like Arsenal will provide us all with a marker for how far we have to go to break into the big four,’ Given told The Sun.
‘They could probably put out two different teams, while we have to stick with the same lads.
‘That is the measure of the difference in the strength of depth between us and them.
Arsenal Team News:
Arsenal are still without the trio of players that went to the ACN. Some worrying news last night when Toure was taken from the pitch on a stretcher.
Robin Van Persie, Denilson, and Djourou are all still out, while Adebayor looks set to be rested.
However, Senderos and Clichy will both return after being given Tuesday off.
Player to watch: Tomas Rosicky
Tommy Gunn has had a big impact in his last couple of games. He’s making runs into the box more than last season, and dictating play more.
Rosicky, Fabregas and Hleb could be the difference between victory and defeat/a replay.
Newcastle Team News:
Midfield thugs Nicky Butt and Alan Smith both return from suspension for Keegan. Emre is still out while Viduka is rated as very doubtful.
Player to watch: Martins
One of the few players to totally destroy Arsenal at Highbury in my lifetime. He may not be playing with the sort of players he was at Inter now, but he’s still a fantastic footballer.
I think too many of Arsenal’s players will be suffering mentally from Tuesday. I’m not going to predict defeat though.
Arsenal have plenty of creativity, but no firepower. 1-1.