FABRICIO Coloccini is hoping Arsenal’s visit to Newcastle United will be a festive treat for fans – as both teams play the right way.
Arsene Wenger’s Premier League leaders visit St James’s Park tomorrow (kick off 1.30pm).
Captain Coloccini says sixth-placed Newcastle couldn’t be more confident ahead of the game, having won seven of their last nine games.
United beat nine-man Stoke City 5-1 on Boxing Day.
Alan Pardew’s side are looking to claim another big scalp in front of a sell-out crowd, having defeated the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur already this season.
And Coloccini believes the fixture has all the makings of a classic given the footballing talent in the two dressing rooms, both of which have large French contingents.
“We’re looking forward to Arsenal as we have a lot of confidence,” Coloccini said.
“The spirit is very high and the team is working hard together. That’s why we’re going the right way.
“Arsenal are fighting to win the league. It’s good, because we have played well against big teams.
“We try to play a similar way – we want to play good football. I think it’s going to be a nice game to watch.”
Newcastle came from behind against Stoke, who were in the lead – and control – at St James’s Park until the dismissals of Glenn Whelan and Marc Wilson late in the first half.
Coloccini admitted United, held to a 1-1 draw by Southampton on their previous home outing, started poorly.
But they took advantage of their two-man advantage after the break and the result kept Newcastle ahead of Manchester United, and improved the team’s goal difference.
“I think it was a difficult game,” said the 31-year-old.
“In the beginning, we didn’t play well.
“Then after the sendings off, we were much better. We had space. That was the difference. They had nine men. It’s a big difference in the Premier League.
“I think it was very important – we had to win at home after Southampton.”
Meanwhile, Wenger – who will be without injured midfielder Aaron Ramsey – is wary of United.
“For us we have another good game now at Newcastle, who are in full confidence as well,” said. Wenger. “So that will be another test.
“The team wants to do well, and the character is great. The concentration is top.
“I believe we had a difficult period just now, but that was mainly down to the schedule.”