Newcastle vs Arsenal: Gabriel Paulista set for big test as Olivier Giroud attempts to maintain goalscoring streak against Magpies

A look ahead to the Premier League fixture at St James' Park

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The Independent Online

It's a big game for…

Gabreil Paulista: Likely to be paired with Calum Chambers once again, Gabriel must improve upon the shaky performance he and Chambers produced against Liverpool on Monday night.

Petr Cech was on hand to rescue them on that occasion, but if the Spaniard wants to secure a starting place in this Arsenal team and dislodge either Per Mertesacker or Laurent Koscielny, he needs a display like opposite number Fabricio Coloccini produced against Manchester United.

Best stat…

8: Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud has eight goals in just six games against Newcastle, and scored twice in both league fixtures the two teams played last season.

 

Remember when…

 

One of the greatest comebacks in Premier League history took place in 2011; Newcastle were dead and buried at 4-0 down at half time. What followed was pretty spectacular. Of course you remember this one.

Player to watch…

Fabricio Coloccini: Many were sceptical when Newcastle’s Argentine captain was given a fresh contract with the club earlier this month. At the age of 33, Coloccini is nearing the end of his career, but you wouldn’t have guessed it last weekend.  Towering headers, tough tackles and heroic blocks kept Manchester United at bay in the Magpies’ last fixture, and he’ll be looking to repeat that performance against Arsenal.

Past three-meetings…

Newcastle 1 (Sissoko) Arsenal 2 (Giroud 2), Premier League, March 2015

Arsenal 4 (Giroud 2, Cazorla 2) Newcastle 1 (Perez), Premier League, December 2014

Arsenal 3 (Koscielny, Ozil, Giroud) Newcastle 0, Premier League, April 2014

Form guide…

Newcastle: LWDLDW

Arsenal: WWWLWD

Vital information…

Kick-off: 12.45pm

TV: Live on BT Sport, highlights on BBC1 

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