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Arsenal v Newcastle United

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Wenger: Ready to return to action

Wenger: Ready to return to action

Arsenal will return to action against Newcastle United at the Emirates on Saturday after their Boxing Day fixture against West Ham was postponed.

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The Gunners have dropped to seventh on the table with 30 points from their 18 games, and have been somewhat resurgent after their Capital One Cup loss to Bradford City at the beginning of December.

They won the following two matches against Reading and Wigan, but sat out the Boxing Day festivities due to striking London Underground workers.

The Gunners don't have any fresh injury concerns, with Abou Diaby (thigh) and Andre Santos (abdominal injury) not due back for a while still.

Goalkeeper Lukas Fabianski is expected to return from his ankle injury near the end of January.

Newcastle, however, have struggled to live up to expectations this season and find themselves in 15th place, just five points clear of the relegation zone.

The Magpies have only won a single match in their last five fixtures, losing the other four. The Toon looked set to grab at least a draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford, but a winning goal from Javier Hernandez in the dying embers sealed Newcastle's fate.

Alan Pardew has to deal with a long injury and suspension list, with one piece of good news being that Cheikh Tiote returns from suspension.

Mike Williamson will miss the trip to North London, after picking up his fifth caution against the Red Devils.

Vurnon Anita was stretchered off at Old Trafford and will not feature against the Gunners on Saturday.

Hatem Ben Arfa is getting close to a return from his hamstring injury, but the Emirates trip comes too soon for the Frenchman.

Jonas Gutierrez and Yohan Cabaye is set to be out for a while yet, but defender Steven Taylor is expected to be back early in 2013.

Posted: 28/12/12 17:17

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