Newcastle are set to travel to north London to take on Arsenal tomorrow evening, but will do so without five first-team stars.
The Gunners set the mark at present given that they are comfortably atop of the Premier League table, with Manchester City and Newcastle their nearest challengers with a seven and nine point disadvantage.
This could well prove to be one of the bigger matches of the campaign in that regard, given that it could well be one of those ‘six-pointer’ matches that you hear of at the top and bottom ends of the table, and you would have to believe that the Toon’s slim title hopes would be all-but over should they lose and drop to a massive 12 points behind us.
As much as Newcastle aren’t being talked about as potential champions, with many believing it is has now become a two-horse race between Manchester City and the Gunners, they are right there in the midst, albeit having played a fixture more than the top two.
They have a tough challenge ahead when they come to the Emirates on January 3, a task made much tougher by their personnel issues. They will be without summer signing Alexander Isak, Matt Targett, Jonjo Shelvey, Emil Krafth and Paul Dummett on Tuesday, and while they may have to consider entering into the transfer market to cover some of those issues, signings are extremely unlikely to be made in time for the fixture with the league leaders.
Would a full-strength Newcastle side have been one to fear tomorrow? Should Newcastle be considered title rivals?