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Thomas Partey could return as Arsenal begin FA Cup defence against Newcastle

Manchester City v Arsenal – Premier League – Etihad Stadium
(Image credit: Alex Livesey)

Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey could return for the start of the club’s FA Cup defence at home to Newcastle on Saturday.

The summer signing suffered a thigh injury in the 2-0 defeat to Tottenham on December 6, but has recovered fully and will be assessed by manager Mikel Arteta.

Defender Gabriel remains absent after he previously tested positive for Covid-19 and is yet to return to training while Mesut Ozil, who has not played for 10 months, is available, although not expected to feature.

Newcastle are unlikely to risk Jamaal Lascelles despite the skipper being given the green light to return to action by club medics following his coronavirus diagnosis.

Allan Saint-Maximin is back on Tyneside after also recovering from the virus, but is yet to resume training and remains on the sidelines.

Steve Bruce has indicated he will make changes with Martin Dubravka set to replace Karl Darlow in goal, but Jamal Lewis (knee) and Ryan Fraser (groin) are definitely out.

Arsenal provisional squad: Leno, Runarsson, Bellerin, Maitland-Niles, Chambers, Holding, Luiz, Mari, Mustafi, Tierney, Saka, Ceballos, Partey, Willock, Elneny, Xhaka, Smith Rowe, Willian, Pepe, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Martinelli, Nketiah, Balogun.

Newcastle provisional squad: Dubravka, Darlow, Yedlin, Krafth, Schar, Fernandez, Clark, Shelvey, Hayden, Ritchie, Murphy, Hendrick, M. Longstaff, S. Longstaff, Almiron, Wilson, Joelinton, Gayle, Carroll.