Carver: Newcastle only have 13 fit players for Arsenal clash

The Magpies boss expects the clash to be the toughest task of his career, with his squad ravaged by injuries ahead of the game against Arsene Wenger’s in-form side

Newcastle United boss John Carver has revealed that he has just 13 outfield players available for this weekend’s clash with Arsenal at St James’ Park.

Fabricio Coloccini is one of a number of players that will miss the clash – either through suspension or injury – after he was sent off during Newcastle’s 3-0 defeat to Everton last weekend, while the likes of Papiss Cisse, Cheick Tiote, Mehdi Abeid, Siem De Jong and Steven Taylor are also ruled out.

Arsenal have won their last five matches in all competitions, and Carver admits that his injury-ravaged side face a tough task as they look to derail the Gunners’ top-four bid.

“I’ve had big challenges in the past and this is one of the biggest,” he told reporters. “It’s my job to prepare the team to bounce back from Everton.

“[But] I only have 13 fit senior players, plus two goalkeepers, for the game

“We are a small group and it’s a difficult time but the only way you get through it is by sticking together and smiling.”

Newcastle sit 11th in the top flight after winning only one of their last six matches.

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