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The FourFourTwo Preview: Newcastle vs Arsenal

A 2-0 victory at Monaco on Tuesday saw Wenger's side eliminated on away goals in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

Arsenal return to league action this weekend at St James' Park, where they have not lost since December 2005 and sealed 1-0 victories on their last two visits.

A happy hunting ground could be just what Arsenal need to banish their midweek disappointment as Wenger looks to ward off the attentions of Manchester United and Liverpool in the scramble for a top-four finish.

"We have good memories at Newcastle but they are always very tight, very difficult games," said the Arsenal manager. 

"They are in a position where they are not under threat to go down. 

"They always have a very motivated crowd and they always play well against us, which makes it a tight game."

With nine games remaining, Wenger's side trail leaders Chelsea by seven points, but it is the teams below them who are arguably more of a concern, with Southampton and Tottenham also in contention with United and Liverpool.

The task facing Newcastle, therefore, is a daunting one and that is added to by the fact they have lost their last six encounters with Arsenal and are struggling with injuries and suspensions.

John Carver revealed on Thursday that he only has 13 fit senior outfield players for this weekend's clash, meaning his substitutes' bench will have a youthful look to it.

However, the Newcastle head coach is wary of starting some of his less experienced players against a side challenging at the top of the table.

"Saturday is not the environment for young lads, especially against an in-form Arsenal side," he said. "It's not the right time for them.

"They [Arsenal] are a good footballing side who like to play, so we have to be patient. But we have one or two things up our sleeve."

Like Arsenal, Newcastle are coming into the game following disappointment, last weekend's 3-0 defeat to Everton was their second successive loss in the league and means they have won just twice in 2015.

Fabricio Coloccini was sent off in that game at Goodison Park and begins a three-match ban, adding to Carver's woes with Papiss Cisse also suspended following a spitting incident with Manchester United's Jonny Evans earlier this month.

Arsenal could welcome back Tomas Rosicky for the trip north, but Wenger confirmed it will come too soon for Mathieu Debuchy (shoulder), Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere (both ankle).