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Arsenal vs Newcastle: Four key battles to watch

09 Mar 2012, 13:57 IST

What happens when you pit two of the league’s top scores against each other and combine that with two of the league’s goal keepers? A showdown! And that is exactly what one should expect when The Gunners take on The Magpies on Monday night.

We’re now down to what they call ‘the business end’ of the Premier League Season. With the title race firmly poised between the two Manchester clubs, An Arsenal-Newcastle game, on Monday night may not look significant at all. But looks can be so very deceiving!

Arsene Wenger’s men or boys rather, have hit a purple patch in form of late and will try to keep the momentum going when they travel to the Sports Direct Arena on Monday night. Newcastle has been this season’s surprise package, and Alan Pardew’s men will certainly be no pushovers for the Gunners.

And it is this kind of form that see’s the Magpies sitting pretty in 6th position in the table, with European football ambitions for next season. Arsenal on the other hand, have regained their confidence of late by coming from behind to win against Tottenham and Liverpool, and then doing the impossible by almost knocking out Milan from the Champions League on Tuesday night. And Arsenal have Robin Van Persie in the form of his life, this season.

Key battles on the pitch:

Scszenzy Vs Krul

Both these shot stoppers have been in fine form this season, for their respective clubs. Rest is assured that they will have their hands full when they come up against Robin Van Persie and Demba Ba respectively.

Vermaelen Vs Demba Ba

Vermaelen has been Arsenal’s best defender this season, by far. And he will have to be at his best once again to contain Newcastle’s goal machine who has already hammered in 16 goals this season. The former West Ham United man has looked Deadly in front of goal this season.

Koscielny Vs Cisse

Laurent Koscielny has been Arsenal’s second mainstay at the back. He along with Vermaelen do form a formidable partnership at the back. But Koscielny will have to beware of Newcastle’s January signing who has had an instant impact in front of goal.

Cheik Tiote Vs Alex Song

This battle in the middle of the park proves to be quite an intriguing one! Both these influential mid-fielders have been the unsung heroes for their teams. Newcastle definitely missed Tiote and his creativity while he was away the African Cup Of Nations, earlier this year. Alex Song has been at the heart of anything good that has been created by  Arsenal’s midfield this season.

Probable Line Up’s

Arsenal: Scszenzy,Vermaelen, Sagna, Koscielny, Gibbs, Rosicky, Song,

Chamberlain, Walcott, Gervinho, Van Persie.

Newcastle United: Krul,  Simpson, Coloccini, Jonas,Taylor, Cabaye, Tiote, Ben Arfa, Obertan, Cisse Ba.

To sum it all up, there’s no way you can afford to miss what promises to be an absolute firecracker of a game, come Monday!

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