Theo Walcott continued as Arsenal’s lone striker for the third straight game as the Gunners looked to end the year on a high with victory over Newcastle at the Emirates Stadium.
Olivier Giroud had to settle for a place on the bench despite recovering from illness and Laurent Koscielny came in for Per Mertesacker in the only change from the XI that beat Wigan last week.
Cheick Tiote and Gabriel Obertan replaced Mike Williamson and Vurnon Anita for Newcastle.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski, Walcott.
Subs: Mannone, Rosicky, Giroud, Ramsey, Djourou, Coquelin, Gervinho.
Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Perch, Santon, Obertan, Bigirimana, Tiote, Marveaux, Ba, Cisse.
Subs: Harper, Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi, Ferguson, Tavernier, Abeid, Streete.
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)