Rafa Benitez had some interesting team news ahead of Newcastle’s trip down to north London this weekend.
Although defender Paul Dummett was a doubt for Newcastle’s clash at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon, he’s been passed fit.
However, 23-year-old striker Aleksandar Mitrović and right-back Jesus Gamez are both out of the squad.
Rafa on his squad for the trip to @Arsenal: “@PaulDummett will be in the squad. Aleksandar Mitrović has a little problem with his back. He and @JesusGamez02 will not be in the squad.” #NUFC pic.twitter.com/6DNL71YktW
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) December 15, 2017
Mitrovic, who’s scored one Premier League goal in six appearances this term, is suffering from a back problem, while 32-year-old Gamez just isn’t in the squad. The Spaniard has only made two Premier League appearances this season so that one’s hardly a surprise.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are without Aaron Ramsey, who’s suffering from a hamstring injury he picked up against Southampton. The Welshman is expected to be sidelined for three weeks.
Shkodran Mustafi was back in full training on Friday but Arsene Wenger admits it would be a risk to include him in the starting XI to face Newcastle. The centre-back has been out since the Manchester United match where he picked up a muscular problem early in the first half… shortly after gifting the visitors their second goal.
“Mustafi is back in training today,” revealed Wenger. “I don’t know if I will include him tomorrow, it’s still a little gamble and apart from that we will have to see how everybody recovers. We’ll see today in training, but we have no basic problem.
“Of course Aaron Ramsey will not be available, I said that he will be out for a little longer and that will be maybe three weeks that he is not in contention.”
Theo Walcott is also out with a groin injury but there was little chance of him featuring anyway since he’s only played in the Premier League three times this season.