Vice-captain Per Mertesacker is set to miss the game at St James’ Park as he is still suffering with the illness that caused him to sit out the goalless draw against Liverpool on Monday night.
His central defensive partner Laurent Koscielny, who also missed the fixture against the Merseyside outfit at the Emirates Stadium, is considered a doubt and will have a fitness test on Thursday to determine if he has recovered from the back injury to take his place in the squad to face the Magpies.
“Mertesacker is still sick and we will know more about Koscielny today. He might have a test on his back today and I will certainly know more tomorrow morning. The less likely to be fit is Mertesacker,” the Gunners boss revealed in his pre-match press conference [via the club’s official website].
“I would like them to be available but that’s part of the season, you can’t complain about that,” Wenger admitted
If the Frenchman is unable to make the game then Calum Chambers and Gabriel Paulista will be expected to resume their partnership at the heart of the Gunners defence after managing to keep a clean sheet against the Reds.
Ten biggest transfer deadline day FLOPS, featuring Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal & Liverpool shockers
Arsene Wenger: Arsenal manager reveals Gunners working ‘day and night’ on ‘specific’ transfer targets
Arsenal rival Barcelona for signing of 49-cap international winger, he wants to move