Arsenal can bring themselves within three points of Champions League qualification with a win this afternoon when they host a struggling Newcastle side at the Emirates Stadium (Watch live on NBCSN at 3:00 p.m. ET and online via Live Extra).
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew makes his return to the dugout this afternoon after a seven match ban for head-butting Hull City’s David Meyler. During that time Newcastle lost six of seven matches, including five straight. Despite the poor form somehow Newcastle have managed to remain in the Top 10 and currently sit in 9th place on 46 points.
Five spots above the Toon is Arsenal in 4th place on 70 points, one above 5th place Everton. Since the 0-3 loss to the Toffees three weeks ago, Arsenal have looked sharp beating West Ham 3-1 and Hull City 3-0. A win today will all but solidify Arsenal’s qualification, needing only to beat West Brom or Norwich City in the final two matches to clinch.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Szczesny; Monreal, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Sagna; Arteta, Ramsey; Podolski, Ozil, Cazorla; Giroud
Bench – Fabianski, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Kallstrom, Flamini, Rosicky, Sanogo
Newcastle (4-4-1-1): Krul; Dummett, Coloccini, Williamson, Debuchy; Gouffran, Tiote, Gosling, Anita; Sissoko; Remy
Bench – Elliot, Haidara, Yanga-Mbiwa, S Taylor, Obertan, Armstrong, Shola Ameobi