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Preview: Newcastle United v Arsenal

Preview: Newcastle United v Arsenal

Where: St James' Park

When: Saturday, 21 March

Time: 1730 GMT

Newcastle United are looking down the barrel of relegation after drawing in their 'cup final' last week against Hull City, while Arsenal are looking to extend their winning ways in the league, thereby cementing their stake in a Champion's League place.

MATCH FACTS

The Magpies are the Premier League's draw specialists, with 11 draws, while their next opponents Arsenal have drawn 10 of their own fixtures.

The two clubs are separated by 23 points, and 12 places. Arsenal lie 5th in the league, while Newcastle are fighting for their premiership survival at 16th place (only above the bottom three due to goal difference).

The Gunners are yet to be beaten in 2009, while Newcastle United have only one win in the last three months.

Newcastle United have not won any of the 16 matches in which they conceded an early goal. The Toon are the only top-flight club this season to have failed to win a match after going behind.

In the absence of Magpies manager Joe Kinnear, assistant manager Chris Hughton will take charge of the team, while first-team coach Colin Calderwood deputises.

TEAM NEWS

Newcastle United

Newcastle United welcome back a host of players ahead of their coveted encounter against Arsenal, with two central midfielders, a winger, and a right-back among the returning lot.

Kevin Nolan returns from suspension, with Danny Guthrie, Damien Duff, and Habib Beye coming back after injury.

Michael Owen is also available after a lengthy lay-off.

Arsenal

The Gunners are without midfielders Cesc Fabrigas, and Tomas Rosicky, but welcome back goalkeeper Manuel Almunia who was injured for the club's FA Cup win against Hull City.

TEAM LINE-UPS

Line-ups to follow later...



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Writer:Mehzeb Chowdhury
Date:Thursday March 19 2009
Time: 2:22PM

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# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Newcastle 19 13 1 5 40 21
2 Brighton 19 11 6 2 39 17
3 Reading 19 10 4 5 34 1
4 Leeds Utd 19 10 2 7 32 3
5 Birmingham 19 8 7 4 31 2
6 Sheff Wed 19 9 4 6 31 1
7 Norwich 19 9 3 7 30 4
8 Huddersfield 19 9 3 7 30 -3
9 Derby County 19 8 5 6 29 4
10 Fulham 19 7 7 5 28 9
11 Bristol City 19 8 3 8 27 4
12 Barnsley 19 7 4 8 25 3
13 Forest 19 7 4 8 25 1
14 Preston 19 7 4 8 25 1
15 Aston Villa 19 5 10 4 25 1
16 Ipswich 19 6 6 7 24 -2
17 Q.P.R. 19 6 5 8 23 -8
18 Brentford 19 6 4 9 22 -2
19 Burton 19 5 7 7 22 -4
20 Wolves 19 5 6 8 21 -3
21 Blackburn 19 5 5 9 20 -7
22 Cardiff 19 5 4 10 19 -12
23 Wigan 19 4 6 9 18 -5
24 Rotherham 19 1 4 14 7 -26
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