Hull Preview: Team News, Injury Updates and Predicted Lineups
*Removes cobwebs from the blog*
It’s been up to a week since I put up anything on the blog but that’s something I’ve come to terms with because work takes precedence over the blog and I don’t have anybody that can hold the fort while I’m out. Nothing much has happened since my last article except from the fact that the Rent Boys have won the Premier League title. And of course, Manchester United struggling yet again with their great manager and his philosophy. Arsene Wenger has stated that a strong finish this campaign would aid next season’s cause and with Manchester City getting the result they wanted against Spurs, the onus is on the Gunners to get a victory against the resurgent Tigers to maintain the pace for that second placed finish.
Hull has struggled this season but they earned themselves two great victories over Crystal Palace and Liverpool in recent weeks and that has helped them alleviate their relegation concerns for the time being. With the things at the top of the table pretty much wrapped up, the battle at the bottom is intense and with the likes of Leicester, Sunderland and Aston Villa getting strategic wins over the weekend, Hull would want to keep the pace with a good result of their own.
Hull City have lost five and drawn one of the last six Barclays Premier League games against Arsenal, including defeats in all three games at the KC Stadium. Aaron Ramsey was on target when both teams met last season, and he’d want to get in on the scoring act but with the Welsh Jesus languishing on the wings, and drifting inside from time to time, one wonders if he could influence the game as he’s prefer. The last time the Tigers got a good result against the Gunners was in 2008, when goals from Geovanni and Daniel Cousin put the Gunners to the sword.
With Chelsea winning the title yesterday (mathematically and boringically), Arsene Wenger’s men can now focus themselves on finishing strongly in the league with Manchester City back in form after their recent slump, the battle for fourth will be quite enticing. After so many seasons of scrapping for fourth place, finishing second would be regarded as an improvement – a sentiment shared by Olivier Giroud,
“Hopefully if we can have less injuries, keep the same group and with maybe one or two new players, we will have a great season [next year]. We have to finish this one first, and to get second and win the FA Cup would be a great season. It has been a few years since we finished second and if we can do it we can see an improvement, which is great.
“But the championship is not finished, which is why we need to focus in the last five games to keep second place.
“I know we can still improve ourselves and that is what we have been doing since I signed for Arsenal. I am proud about it and pleased with that. I just want to carry on like that, and I know if we keep our best players and this determination with the team spirit, we are going to join [next season’s title] race.”
Arsenal has shown some massive improvement this season and winning against Hull would be a step in the right direction.
Wenger has recently admitted that team selection hasn’t been easy for him with the vast amount of sheet talent at his disposal. He gave special mentions to David Ospina, Hector Bellerin and Francis Coquelin, three players that have improved massively since they were handed a chance to show what they’re made of. With most of the players fully fit, the manager has a real headache to select his best possible XI but he can be confident that whoever he selects would give their all for the team.
Hull: Curtis Davies (thigh), Andrew Robertson (ankle), Momo Diame, Robert Snodgrass and Nikica Jelavic (knee)
Arsenal: Matt Debuchy (hamstring), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hamstring), Mikel Arteta and Abou Diaby (lacking match fitness)
- Last Five Games: L L W W W
- Last Result: Hull 1 Liverpool 0
- Leading Goalscorer: Nikica Jelavic (8)
- Last Five Games: W W W W D
- Last Result: Arsenal 0 Chelsea 0
- Leading Goalscorer: Alexis Sanchez (22)
Hull (3-5-2): Harper; McShane, Dawson, Chester; Brady, Elmohamady; Huddlestone, Livermore, Quinn; Aluko, N’Doye
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Ospina; Bellerin, Koscielny, Mertesacker Monreal; Coquelin, Cazorla; Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud
Gooner Daily says 3 – 0 to the Arsenal
You can download the Gooner Daily BlackBerry App to receive notifications on your Smart Phone when a post is published.
You can follow Gooner Daily on Twitter @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back
Feel free to visit Gooner Daily’s Facebook page and click on the like button.
You can also join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List to get notifications of new posts by email by clicking on the Follow button