Newcastle United bring the curtain down on their 2012-13 season with a home game against Arsenal tomorrow. The Magpies have already secured their top flight safety already, while Arsenal are one of only three teams in the entire Premier League who have something to play for on the final day.

That something is the much-coveted fourth place, something Newcastle were in with a shout of getting this time last season.

A win for the Gunners would be enough for them to achieve Champions League qualification, while only a slip combined with London rivals Tottenham beating Sunderland would leave them without European competition next year.

In what could be a bizarre twist, Arsenal could tie with third-placed Chelsea if the Europa League champions draw and the Gunners win by a certain score line. That would mean a play-off for third, which would be held at Villa Park next weekend.

Many of the headlines building up to this game have been surrounding Alan Pardew’s silly comments regarding the curtain-closer. Pardew said “he couldn’t care less if Arsenal win 4-0” today, something which he later passed off as a “naive” comment on his part.

No matter what it meant, it was still a ridiculous comment from an experienced manager and it will have riled the Newcastle fans that are still calling for his head following a disastrous campaign.

The loyal home support will demand one more big performance from their team before the summer holidays begin and with no pressure on them, it could go either way for the Magpies.

It will be Steve Harper’s final appearance for Newcastle, with the 38-year-old goalkeeper moving on to pastures new after a 20-year career at St James’ Park. In that time, Harper has only made 198 appearances for his boyhood club, but has been an integral part of any squad he was involved in.

Cheick Tiote and Steven Taylor are expected to be available for selection but Davide Santon, Moussa Sissoko and Massadio Haidara are to miss out. Definite absentees also include Shola Ameobi, Ryan Taylor and Haris Vuckic.

Arsenal come off the back of their 4-1 home win over Wigan with the boost that Olivier Giroud is available after suspension but Mikel Arteta is doubtful after picking up a calf injury.

A win could move Newcastle as high as 10th in the league – the highest they’ve been all season – and earn more in the way of prize money, with every place worth around £1m.

As long as the score doesn’t end 4-0 to Arsenal, Pardew can look towards next season and attempt to rebuild his tarnished reputation.