After recording their biggest win of the season against Stoke on Boxing Day, Newcastle return to Premier League action tomorrow when they take on title chasing Arsenal at St James’ Park.

The Gunners arrive in town after being knocked off top spot over the Christmas period; defeat at Manchester City allowing the Citizens to close the gap and take top spot before kick-off tomorrow.

Newcastle’s win over Stoke allowed them to close the gap on the top four though, as they are now a single point behind Everton as they chase the European places.

The Magpies’ record against Arsenal isn’t the best at home though, having not won in their last eight games against Arsene Wenger’s troops. Nolberto Solano scored the winner the last time Newcastle got the better of the Gunners.

Alan Pardew will once again be able to call on the services of Cheick Tiote after the Ivorian served his one-match suspension against Stoke on Boxing Day. That means the Toon boss will be able to make minimum changes to his side as he looks to maintain momentum.

Tiote will most likely replace Vurnon Anita in midfield and a decision must be made between Shola Ameobi and Hatem Ben Arfa. The Frenchman tormented the entire Stoke team on his return to the starting line-up last time out but Ameobi’s physical presence may mean he reclaims his place in the side.

If Ameobi gets the nod, Pardew will likely go for a 4-4-2 formation, whereas the Geordies may continue with the 4-3-3 if Ben Arfa is preferred.

Jonas Gutierrez is injured but was unlikely to trouble the starting XI anyway, while Ryan Taylor is the only long-term absentee for Newcastle.

As for Arsenal, Jack Wilshere returns to the squad after serving a two-match ban for a gesture made towards the Manchester City fans recently, while Aaron Ramsey will be out for a month with a thigh injury.

Laurent Koscielny is struggling with a deep cut to his knee, so Thomas Vermaelen – who has been linked with a loan move to Newcastle this season – will continue in defence with Per Mertesacker. Lukas Podolski made a scoring return to action after a long layoff with a muscle injury and is pushing for a starting place again.

The game tomorrow falls one year after Newcastle were unceremoniously hammered 7-3 at the Emirates, so revenge may be on the minds as the Geordies attempt to keep up their good form.