With Arsenal facing Newcastle at 12:45 on Saturday afternoon, the team will travel up to the north-east on Friday to stay in a hotel overnight.

That means Thursday is the last day of full training ahead of the Premier League match, so it is worrying for Arsenal fans that first-choice centre-halves Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker could both be out.

Koscielny is expected to be missing again after a back issue kept him out of Monday night’s game against Liverpool, but Mertesacker’s situation is more concerning. The vice-captain was nowhere to be seen during training on Wednesday after an illness kept him out of the 0-0 draw with Liverpool.

It seemed as though the club were hopeful he would recover soon, but with the German still not training it doesn’t seem horribly likely that he will be ready for the trip to St. James’ Park.

Arsenal kept a clean sheet with Gabriel and Calum Chambers at the back but the 20 year-old Englishman looked nervous, particularly in the first half. Arsenal’s inability to play out from the back was exploited and Chambers (though he wasn’t alone and improved after the break) badly struggled.

Hopefully Chambers, if required, will improve on the performance last time out as Arsenal look

READ MORE:
Mesut Ozil statement clarifies injury confusion