King Kev’s Newcastle squad will be bolstered by the return of Alan Smith and Nicky Butt after the FA suspensions, but will still miss Emre—banned for the red card he received in Newcastle's FA Cup 3rd round replay against Stoke City.
Mark Viduka’s future remains uncertain thanks to his calf problem injury, while Joey Barton is once again unlikely to figure.
Having worked with his squad for over a week now, King Kev is confident that Newcastle can give the London side a hard time; he’ll try to hand London another Cup defeat.
"It's a terrific tie for us. If you thought about the places where we could go there can't be too many harder," Keegan said on the official site. "The cup throws up shocks at times and for most people it would be a shock, but I've said to the players this week, 'What do we want to go there and do?' Obviously the aim is to still be in the competition."
King Kev also asked the United squad to be courageous and to cause as many problems for London as possible. Keegan stressed with players such as Alan Smith, Michael Owen, Charles N'Zogbia, Damien Duff and James Milner the fact that it's no good to ask all this of the team, only to go in, sit back, and get a goalless draw.
I like that, Mr. Keegan!
Arsenal will be minus Robin van Persie (still suffering an injured thigh), midfielder Denilson (with a troubled hamstring), and Johan Djourou (with groin injury).
But defenders Philippe Senderos and Gael Clichy may return. Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue, and Alex Song all are away on African Nations Cup duty.
Meanwhile, Emmanuel Adebayor and Nicklas Bendtner’s on-pitch bust up during last Tuesday's League Cup has caused coward coach Arsene Wenger to cancel his regular Friday news conference. Why, oh, why, Mr. Wenger, are you afraid of being caught speechless in front of the press?