Arsenal v Newcastle Preview: Gunners hoping to ease pressure on Wenger

Aaron Ramsey will miss the game due to a hamstring injury but says that his team-mates are desperate to win for their French coach, who they feel is being unfairly criticised

Midfielder Aaron Ramsey says that Arsenal are keen to keep improving their form for under-pressure manager Arsene Wenger as they take on Newcastle in the Premier League.

Having endured a miserable first half at Stoke City on Saturday, which saw them trail 3-0 at the break before losing 3-2, the Gunners bounced back in the Champions League against Galatasaray.

Ramsey’s stunning long-range strike helped Arsenal round off their group campaign with a 4-1 win in Istanbul to ensure a positive end to a difficult few days for Wenger and his side.

With sections of Arsenal fans clearly unhappy after their downfall at the Britannia Stadium, Arsenal return to the Emirates Stadium off the back of a win but without Calum Chambers (suspended), Nacho Monreal (ankle) and Ramsey (hamstring).

While Newcastle will also be full of confidence after ending Chelsea’s unbeaten start to the campaign last weekend, the Welshman feels that his team-mates showed character in midweek that will stand them in good stead.

“It was obviously a disappointing first half [at Stoke] but we did well in the second half and almost got back into it,” Ramsey, who will miss the game with a hamstring problem, told reporters.

“It was important to bounce back from that defeat and we did that.

“Every player here wants to work hard for [Wenger]; we proved that again on Tuesday night. He has been under some unfair criticism but we are all out there, we are in it together. We wanted to get the result for us and for him.”

Newcastle showcased their renewed vigour under Alan Pardew last time out by inflicting a first defeat of the season on Jose Mourinho’s title-chasing Chelsea.

A haul of 19 points from a possible 24 sees them travel to the capital in good spirits, despite something of an injury crisis that will see goalkeeper Jak Alnwick make his first senior start for the club.

Fellow keepers Tim Krul (ankle) and Rob Elliott (thigh) are both injury absentees along with Rolando Aarons (hamstring) and Davide Santon (knee), while Steven Taylor and Moussa Sissoko miss out through suspension.

Pardew – whose captain, Fabricio Coloccini, remains a doubt with a calf problem – hopes to turn around their fortunes at the Emirates Stadium.

“Arsenal has not been a happy hunting ground for us in recent years. The games at St James’s Park have been tight and we hope this one is too,” he remarked.

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