GUNNERS PREVIEW: Magpies under pressure as Arsenal travel to St James's
Newcastle v Arsenal Premier League St James Park Saturday, kick-off 5.30pm Newcastle s chances of retaining their Premier League status are diminishing by the week. Six wins out of 29 games tells its own story. With fans favourite Kevin Keegan depar
Newcastle v Arsenal
St James' Park
Saturday, kick-off 5.30pm
Newcastle's chances of retaining their Premier League status are diminishing by the week. Six wins out of 29 games tells its own story.
With fans' favourite Kevin Keegan departing after their 3-0 loss at The Emirates back in September, only to be replaced by Joe Kinnear - who has since been laid off with a heart scare - and deeply unpopular chairman Mike Ashley staying away from Tyneside for nearly six months, it's a soap opera which appears too far-fetched even by the standards of a club which has a habit of shooting itself in the foot.
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Only it's all true. Star striker Michael Owen, out of contract at the end of the season and heavily tipped to leave the maelstrom of north-east football, returned from his second major injury of the season in their 1-1 draw at Hull last weekend.
Despite two prolonged absences this term, he remains their leading scorer on 10 goals in all competitions.
Former Tottenham stalwart Chris Hughton, who has taken temporary charge while Kinnear recovers, has seen his side chalk up just two wins in 15, their last home victory coming in December against his beloved Spurs. In their last home outing they gave Manchester United a scare when Peter Lovenkrands scored before the champions responded to win 2-1.
Hughton took heart from that match: "We showed against Man Utd what we can do to teams at St James' Park, regardless of the opposition."
St James' has been a tricky place for Arsenal in previous visits. Their last win there came courtesy of a Patrick Vieira strike in a 1-0 in 2004.