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Mikel Arteta admitted that Arsenal’s performance at Newcastle United did not warrant Champions League football. Granit Xhaka told those who were not up to the task to “stay at home”. There are no two ways about it – it was a St James’ Park disaster.

Knowing that a win would see a top-four place remain in their hands heading into the final day, Arsenal were outplayed and bullied by Newcastle, who struck through Ben White‘s own goal and Bruno Guimaraes – a rumoured January target for the Gunners – in the second half.

Arsenal right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu just cannot catch a break at the moment, as the Japan international was run ragged against Allan Saint-Maximin before being forced off early with a muscular problem on Monday.

Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey are keeping Tomiyasu company in the treatment room, while Rob Holding is back from a ban and represents a much fitter option at the back compared to Gabriel Magalhaes and Ben White – both of whom reportedly missed training on Wednesday.

Emile Smith Rowe was also absent from the session but would have been expected to drop out for Gabriel Martinelli either way, while Tomiyasu’s absence should mean a recall to the first XI for Cedric Soares.

Meanwhile, Everton’s defence will be bolstered by the return of Jarrad Branthwaite from a one-match ban, although Salomon Rondon remains on the naughty step.

Andros Townsend and Nathan Patterson will both miss the final day of the season, but Fabian Delph and Yerry Mina have small chances of making the squad, though neither man should be risked from the off.

Lampard will almost certainly shuffle the pack after their successful midweek exertions, with ex-Tottenham man Dele Alli sure to be in line for a start as he aims to help his old club fend off their top-four competition.

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; Cedric, Holding, Gabriel, Tavares; Xhaka, Elneny; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Nketiah

Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Branthwaite, Godfrey, Keane; Iwobi, Alli, Doucoure, Mykolenko; Gray, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison

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The inquest into Arsenal’s collapse has already begun, with many pointing to a lack of January incomings to bolster a thin squad, and only a spectacular set of circumstances would see Arteta’s side clinch a spot in the Champions League for the first time in six years.

The Gunners currently sit two points behind Tottenham Hotspur and realistically need their North London rivals to suffer a shock defeat to 20th-placed Norwich City at Carrow Road to stand any chance of making the top four, and nothing less than a win will do for them on the Emirates turf.

Defeat to Newcastle also extended Arsenal’s run without a clean sheet to nine matches – a far cry from their previously resilient defence – but they have won each of their last 10 final-day matches in the Premier League and will certainly be the fresher of the two sides this weekend

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