Following yet another narrow Champions League exit, Arsenal will focus on their attempts to make the top four when they travel to Newcastle United.
After coming close to scoring early on, Newcastle’s trip to Everton on Sunday turned out to be a miserable one, as they ran into a side that produced its best performance in the league for some time. To make matters worse, captain Fabricio Coloccini was sent off as the Magpies lacked intensity for long spells.
Even with Head Coach John Carver looking to earn the results to help extend his tenure beyond this season, they must avoid seeing another season fizzle out as it will only add to the disquiet among supporters. As for this game, midfielder Moussa Sissoko will be keen to impress, having admitted his love of Arsenal.
Arsenal gave it everything and a little more in Monaco on Tuesday evening, only for the away goals rule to haunt them again. They will need to pick themselves up, and optimism arrives from the knowledge that they have a great chance of grabbing second from Manchester City.
Indeed, while highly unlikely, the title is not yet totally out of reach, but they will be satisfied if they can play for the remainder of the campaign as they did against West Ham United in their last Premier League game. Silky and slick, the interplay between Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey was especially superb.
Coloccini joins Papiss Cisse in being suspended for Newcastle, who are still without Siem De Jong, Paul Dummett, Steven Taylor and Mahdi Abeid.
Jack Wilshere faces a race against time to be fit for Arsenal, Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Debuchy and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are still injured.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Newcastle