Two challengers for the crown aim to boost their hopes of Premier League title glory on Tuesday night, as Arsenal take on Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners ended 2022 with a pulsating 4-2 success over Brighton & Hove Albion, while Eddie Howe’s side lost a bit of ground on the top two after being held to a goalless draw by Leeds United.
The perennially-injured Takehiro Tomiyasu shook off his latest hamstring problem to come on as a second-half substitute at the Amex, leaving Arsenal with just two guaranteed absentees for this contest in Gabriel Jesus and Reiss Nelson.
Emile Smith Rowe has taken part in a few training sessions as he closes in on a return from groin surgery, but he will only make the bench at best here if he is passed fit, with Arteta likely to keep faith in his tried-and-tested starting XI despite the quick turnaround.
Nketiah continues to fill the boots of Jesus admirably and could record his 12th goal from his last 12 starts at the Emirates, despite only having 16 shots on target during that eyebrow-raising run.
With regard to Newcastle, none of Howe’s injured quintet should be able to return on Tuesday, with Alexander Isak, Jonjo Shelvey, Matt Targett, Emil Krafth and Paul Dummett all unavailable for the top-of-the-table clash.
The visiting manager could be tempted into a couple of changes either way, having given Chris Wood the nod from the off against Leeds, but Callum Wilson replaced the ex-Burnley man just after the hour mark and will expect a recall to the firing line.
Former Arsenal man Joe Willock will hope to receive a warm welcome back to the Emirates, but he could also be sacrificed for the returning Allan Saint-Maximin, who caused Tomiyasu a world of problems in May’s win over the Gunners.
Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Nketiah
Newcastle United possible starting lineup:
Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Longstaff, Guimaraes, Joelinton; Almiron, Wilson, Saint-Maximin
We say: Arsenal 2-2 Newcastle United