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Newcastle United suffer injury blow ahead of Arsenal clash

The first ever Premier League winter break is over for Arsenal.

The Gunners are back on home soil following a trip to Dubai for some warm weather training at the end of some time off for the players.

Their first game back in the Premier League is against Newcastle United on Sunday, with Steve Bruce bringing a side in similar form to the Gunners to the capital.

Arsenal are on a run of four straight draws in the Premier League, with the Magpies drawing three of their last four too.

Both sides will be keen to pick up all three points, with the pair locked on 31 points in 10th and 12th in the table respectively.

As has been the case on a number of occasions this season, though, Bruce will have to do without a number of key players.

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Newcastle have suffered horrendous injury problems during the 2019/20 campaign and they do not look to be subsiding in time for the trip to north London on Sunday.

Speaking during his pre-match press conference, Bruce confirmed the Magpies would be without Andy Carroll and Jonjo Shelvey, while Yoshinori Muto and Dwight Gayle would appear to be doubts too.

Add that to the fact that Javier Manquillo (hamstring), Emil Krafth (ankle), Paul Dummett (knee) and Jetro Willems (ACL) are all also out, and it’s quite the treatment table.

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Speaking to our friends at Chronicle Live, Bruce said: “We’re just going to assess whether it’s a little bit early for Muto and Dwight but they’re training, of course.

“The big problem we’ve got still is Andy’s still not right so that’s a concern to us going forward. We expected him to be OK but unfortunately he’s not. Everyone else is the same as what we are.

“Whatever it is, when he gets to a certain level when he tries the rehabilitation, he’s still not quite right so we just have to keep monitoring it and see how he is.

“It’s a big frustration. There was a time just before Christmas when we were looking and he’s made a few assists and started a few games.

“It’s exactly why we brought him into the club and unfortunately he’s picked up this injury, which is frustrating because all of a sudden it’s drifting into five, six weeks when we expected it to be 10 days.

“I’m sure he’s as frustrated as we all are but unfortunately he’s got to try and get fit and hopefully he will be ready in a couple of weeks or whenever it will be. We’re not putting a time scale on it. It’s just the way it is.”