Hull City Vs Arsenal – Match Preview

The last two results for Arsenal can be read completely differently, dependent on your outlook.
Both games – the last-gasp victory over Southampton last weekend and the difficult but valuable draw in Paris midweek – could be perceived to be lucky in nature, with tactics that allowed our opponents to be far more dangerous than they ought to be. 

Lacking a killer edge up front, with defensive lapses that could perhaps have been far costlier than they proved to be.

Alternatively, it could also be the mark of a potentially successful season, the old adage of playing poorly yet snatching results hopefully ringing true.

Either way you look at it, we have failed to hit top gear, and the rest of the season cannot be played with such methods. There will come a time when the talent in our team must rise to the fore, to make the difference in tight games, and put them where they belong. If not, then a season of mediocrity beckons.

Next up on the fixture list is Hull City, a team in flux, but their start proves that no game can be taken for granted. Caretaker boss Mike Phelan has reportedly been offered the position full-time, but negotiations are ongoing, so the uncertaintly continues. 

In terms of team news, it seems more difficult to pick a potential lineup in recent weeks. Arsene Wenger has made some team choices that few would have predicted, and with the PSG game so fresh, there could be many changes.

Petr Cech was left out for the Champions League fixture in midweek, but will be expected to regain his spot in the side from David Ospina, despite a Man of the Match performance from the South American stopper.

Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott were also left out of the side for the same match, and both require a fitness test before kickoff. Will this mean Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gets another chance to shine? Will Lucas Perez perhaps be named? Or will ALexis Sanchez be named as the striker, even though he was ineffective in that position until he reverted back to type against PSG?

Santi Cazorla may well be rested after playing both games, and three games in a week when we have a wealth of central midfielders would be uncalled for. The flipside to this though, is that the Spaniard has scored two and provided two so far this season, and is in great form. Alternatives to Cazorla could be Mohamed Elneny, the underplayed Granit Xhaka, or Francis Coquelin. 

There are a few certainties. Aaron Ramsey and Gabriel have returned to full training, but will both miss this fixture, and Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck are still some way to rejoining the squad. 

The flurry of games may have adverse effects on fitness, but it can also benefit a player who is searching for form. Mesut Ozil, The Ox, and our new recruits will find this congested fixture list a blessing rather than a curse, and it represents another chance to find the zone that allows their best play to come to the fore.

Hull have many new faces, and one of them may be making his bow for the Tigers. Dieumerci Mbokani, who was on loan at Norwich last season, is now on loan at Hull and could be Mike Phelan’s choice to play up top. The rest of the team may not differ that much from their last game – the 1-1 draw against Burnley – and they have named an unchanged lineup for the first four games. This was a necessity rather than choice, and with a few new boys champing at the bit, there could be changes afoot. 

Hull have a pretty diabolical record against the Gunners on the face of things. One win in eighteen is not a fact to give Hull fans much reason for cheer, but many recent tussles have been relatively tight and with both teams form the way it is, then another match in the same mould should be expected. 

One interesting stat for this game? The last three games between the teams have had no goals at the halfway mark and have had a goal scored in the 90th minute or after.  

There may be fireworks at the KCOM Stadium….

Expected Lineup – Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Elneny, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Sanchez, Perez.

Predicted Score – 3-1 Arsenal. Yes, I’m an eternal optimist. 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s