The Gunners can jump from seventh into a tie for fourth place in the EPL table with a victory in Emirates Stadium, and will be heavily favored in this one thanks to a dynamic attack headlined by midfielders Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta.
Here is the viewing and live stream information for this matchup, as the Magpies look to win their first road contest of the 2012-13 season.
When: Saturday, December 29 at 12:30 p.m. EST
Where: Emirates Stadium, London
Live Stream: FOX Soccer 2 Go
Newcastle just suffered a crushing 4-3 loss at the hands of EPL leader Manchester United in their last match, as Javier Hernandez netted the game-winning goal in stoppage time.
Despite the Magpies' 15th-place standing in the league, they are far from an easy out for Arsenal considering how hard a time the Reds had holding them off at home. Arsene Wenger's club rarely makes things easy on themselves, and that has been evident throughout this year.
One thing working in the Gunners' advantage will be the extra rest they have enjoyed since their prospective Boxing Day match with West Ham. It was canceled due to the impending London Underground strike.
However, Wenger pointed to the flip side of the time off, which may have actually hurt Arsenal in terms of momentum (h/t Arsenal.com Twitter page):
Wenger: 'We will do better in the second half of the season. I would have loved to play on Boxing Day because we were on a good run'— Arsenal.com (@Arsenal) December 28, 2012
The Arsenal defense has been suspect at times in 2012, and will need to be a focal point for the improvement that Wenger speaks of as the calendar year comes to a close. It has indeed made strides lately, letting up just five goals in the past six contests.
The primary focus will be shutting down the Toon's lethal striker Demba Ba. According to The Telegraph, Ba has generated some interest from the Gunners with the January transfer window approaching. Wenger, however, wouldn't take the bait when asked about Ba on Friday.
Ba has scored 11 of his club's 23 EPL goals, and shutting him down will go a long way in making this a much easier match for Arsenal to manage.
With more firepower on the attack, a resurgent defense and a stellar goalkeeper in Wojciech Szczesny, the Gunners should be able to do enough to notch the three points. However, don't be surprised if Ba finds the back of the net for Newcastle to make this fixture closer than expected.
Final Score: Arsenal 3, Newcastle United 2
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