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John Carver: Newcastle United have "13 fit senior players" for Arsenal match

John Carver admits that he faces a daunting task this weekend when his injury and suspension-hit Newcastle United side take on Arsenal at St James' Park.

Newcastle United boss John Carver has revealed that he faces the "biggest" test of his career to date when his side take on Arsenal this weekend with a depleted group of players to choose from.

The Magpies have been rocked by numerous injury and suspension problems in recent weeks, and Carver expects to be left with a group of just 13 fit senior outfield players for the tough-looking fixture against the Gunners at St James' Park.

Newcastle suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat at Everton last time out to make it two wins from their last 10 games, and the 50-year-old admits that he faces a daunting task on Saturday.

"I only have 13 fit senior players, plus two goalkeepers, for the game," he told reporters. "I've had big challenges in the past and this is one of the biggest. It's my job to prepare the team to bounce back from Everton."

Asked if he is tempted to field young players, the former Toon assistant added: "Saturday is not the environment for young lads, especially against an in-form Arsenal side. It's not the right time for them."

Newcastle are currently 11th in the Premier League table.

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Ayoze Perez in action for Newcastle on December 28, 2014
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