Arsenal enter the New Year top of the Premier League, and will be aiming to stay there by seeing off the challenge of Cardiff City.
It was not a typical Arsenal display on Sunday as they battled to a 1-0 victory away to Newcastle United, but they showed resilience and determination, things which are not always associated with the Gunners. They are beginning to look formidable again, and Arsene Wenger will be hoping for his side to maintain their consistency in 2014, having picked up more points than anybody else in the last calendar year.
The Welsh club will not arrive in North London in the best of spirits, having squandered a seemingly comfortable and unassailable 2-0 lead to only draw at home to bottom club Sunderland. Under caretaker boss David Kerslake, Cardiff paid the price for dropping too deep in the latter stages, and their dejection at conceding the last-gasp equaliser was there for all to see.
Nacho Monreal and Thomas Vermaelen should recover from illness in time to be part of the Arsenal squad, but Aaron Ramsey is out, and Mesut Ozil and Kieran Gibbs are both unlikely to feature.
Cardiff are again likely to be without Craig Bellamy, while Declan John could keep his place in the side ahead of Andrew Taylor after impressing against Sunderland.
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