Hopefully, today we will see a great action movie called “Merciless Gunner, Crying Tiger”. We are top of the league and Hull City are lying in the last spot in the upper half of the table.
Of course, there are more factors than a brief look at the table that suggests we should win this one. We are currently 9/4 favourites to win the league with bwin, and we have conceded the fewest goals in the league (joint with Southampton) while only Manchester City have scored more goals than us. Our next opponents, on the other side, have averaged less than a goal per match and half of their goals came in just two matches (Newcastle and Liverpool). The Tigers have failed to find the net in five matches so far. Their defence has kept a clean sheet on four occasions.
Their away form has been appalling as they have won just one game (Newcastle) out of six, and that has been their only away match in which Hull didn’t lose. Arsenal have won five games in a row at the Emirates after they lost the opening fixture of the season against Aston Villa.
Former Spuds Jake Livermore and Tom Huddlestone might want to prove themselves against the Gunners. The former scored an opener against Liverpool on Sunday and will try to repeat the feat against us. Robbie Brady has been their top-scorer so far with three goals to his name. He operates on the left flank in 3-5-2 formation and might be the biggest threat for our team given that we will miss Bacary Sagna due to hamstring injury.
So, what we should get from this match?
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This one is pretty clear, isn’t it. We have the “Fortnight of the Living Dead” after Hull City and that means we have to take three points from this match.
2.A break for some of our players.
We have enjoyed Aaron Ramsey’s form this season and Mesut Özil has done a lot to claim The King of Assists-title in England as well but they should be rested for this one. Wilshere and Rosicky might occupy Ramsey and Özil’s respective places in the team while Theo Walcott might get his first start since September. That might do well for Santi Cazorla as well given that he hasn’t been the best with Özil around but his partnership with Rosicky is something else.
Also, Thomas Vermaelen, Nacho Monreal and Mathieu Flamini might get the nod as well but it is unlikely that Wenger would make all of the aforementioned changes.
3.Another clean sheet.
We have conceded ten goals this term and just one in the last five matches in the Premiership. Our opponents haven’t been too prolific and don’t have top-class strikers in their ranks so we should do well against them.
4.A fine performance from Carl Jenkinson.
One of the members of the British Core has been on the bench thanks to the brilliant form of Bacary Sagna and his rare start in the Capital One Cup against Chelsea was far from his best performance like he had given last season. Sagna’s injury might be a great opportunity for him to restore his self-confidence and raise his chances for Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad. He’ll have to be at his best given the fact Hull’s top scorer is Robbie Brady who will operate on Jenkinson’s side of the pitch.
Olivier Giroud has scored 18 goals in the Premiership so far – 17 of those in the city of London, 14 of which at the Emirates. Given that Hull come to London without the suspended Curtis Davies and that Giroud will lead our attack, our big Frenchman might try to restore the lead against Aaron Ramsey. Giroud had been our top-scorer thanks to that brace against Southampton before Ramsey replied in the same manner against Cardiff City.
6.Last chance for Nicklas Bendtner.
Arsene Wenger won’t have too much space for the Danish samurai for the rest of 2014 and our next opponents might be the easiest opponents that we’ll face until the end of the year. Of course, Hull City should not be under-estimated at any point – after all, they have beaten Newcastle and Liverpool – but if we take a comfortable two or three-goal-lead after an hour, Bendtner might get a chance to show he can still be a useful striker.