It doesn’t look like there is much chance of Florian Thauvin making the Newcastle team today.

At least judging by Steve McClaren’s pre-match comments that is.

The Head Coach is continuing to peddle this line of Newcastle simply being unlucky in recent matches, rather than anything being at fault…such as rubbish tactics/formation or badly performing players.

So it all points to persevering with two negative players in the middle of the pitch, with Cheick Tiote replacing Vurnon Anita.

Which then means that potentially our two best central midfield players, Sissoko and Wijnaldum, continue to be pushed out wide, leaving no room for a proper winger to be given his chance.

McClaren also mentions organisation and discipline being key at the Emirates as well as a ‘certain amount of aggression’ – not exactly making it sound like he’s thinking of including a waif-like winger.

Sounds more like the Newcastle boss is heading more down a ‘dogs of war’ philosophy to try and dig Newcastle out of trouble.

It worked to an extent against a poor Liverpool side and a lenient referee kept his cards in his pocket for most of that match, but I hereby predict cards aplenty for Newcastle and potentially another red against the Gunners today , to go with Mitrovic’s in the home match.

Steve McClaren:

“We have gone to places like Old Trafford and White Hart Lane and shown we can compete. That’s what we want to do.

“It’s what we have been doing over the last 11 games, apart from Leicester and Crystal Palace. We have been competing and you can’t fault the players for that.

“We have been unlucky in the last three games and we are hoping in 2016 that turns a bit.

“It is about collective organisation and discipline and a certain amount of aggression will be required.

“We have come across many, many good players in every team.

“Ozil is just another one of them which we will have to contend with but they have others. Giroud is scoring goals left, right and centre, Walcott is coming into form, Ramsey is a very good midfield player.

“Despite what they are missing, they have still got quality.”

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