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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
C Burnley 46 26 15 5 93 37
P Middlesbrough 46 26 11 9 89 32
3 Brighton 46 24 17 5 89 30
4 Hull City 46 24 11 11 83 34
5 Derby County 46 21 15 10 78 23
6 Sheff Wed 46 19 17 10 74 21
7 Ipswich 46 18 15 13 69 2
8 Cardiff 46 17 17 12 68 5
9 Brentford 46 19 8 19 65 5
10 Birmingham 46 16 15 15 63 4
11 Preston 46 15 17 14 62 0
12 Q.P.R. 46 14 18 14 60 0
13 Leeds Utd 46 14 17 15 59 -8
14 Wolves 46 14 16 16 58 -5
15 Blackburn 46 13 16 17 55 0
16 Forest 46 13 16 17 55 -4
17 Reading 46 13 13 20 52 -7
18 Bristol City 46 13 13 20 52 -17
19 Huddersfield 46 13 12 21 51 -11
20 Fulham 46 12 15 19 51 -13
21 Rotherham 46 13 10 23 49 -18
R Charlton 46 9 13 24 40 -40
R MK Dons 46 9 12 25 39 -30
R Bolton 46 5 15 26 30 -40
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