Hull City vs. Arsenal: In-Depth Preview, Predicted Line-Ups & Prediction

Arsenal are looking to forget about their struggles in the Premier League on Tuesday night, as they aim to book themselves an FA Cup quarter final spot.

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Arsene Wenger admitted in his pre-match press conference that turning fixtures around in quick succession can change the fans perception, and a win over The Tigers will certainly do that.

Should the Gunners make it past Steve Bruce’s side, a date with Watford is already set up at the weekend, with the chance to make it a third successive semi-final at Wembley.

But to ensure they can make it, they will first have to get through a tricky fixture at the KC Stadium, with Hull riding high in the Championship this season.

They too are battling to be top of the table so it will be interesting to see how Bruce sets up his men, with one eye on resting key members for their upcoming fixture pile-up.

Team News

Arsenal

The boss admitted that his side would be very similar to the one that he took to Tottenham at the weekend, with no new medical injuries to deal with.

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After his clumsy second challenge at White Hart Lane, Francis Coquelin is forced to miss this one through suspension, which is almost a blessing in disguise as he wasn’t expected to start anyway – making him available again for the Gunners next Premier League game.

Laurent Koscielny is short for Tuesday night, and Wenger will be cautious in rushing him back into action, the weekend could be a possibility according to the boss.

There was no update on the fitness of Jack Wilshere, but in other news it looks as if on-loan Carl Jenkinson is making some serious improvements in training.

Injury List: S. Cazorla, J. Wilshere, T. Rosicky, A. Oxlade-Chamberlain, P. Cech, L. Koscielny

Hull City

The Tigers have dropped off the pace in the Championship and now stand four points off the top spot and rooted to an unpredictable place in the play-offs.

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Due to the cup-tied rule, both Chuba Akpom and Isaac Hayden aren’t able to feature in this one, so Nick Powell will likely get a run-out again.

The heroics of Jakupovic in the return fixture means he’s more than favoured to be handed the gloves again, and will be determined to keep another clean sheet against Arsenal.

Other than that, Steve Bruce has a completely full squad to work with and that will play into his hands when he rotates between FA Cup and Championship football.

Ones To Watch

Arsenal – Olivier Giroud

After Danny Welbeck became the in-favour striker at the club, the Frenchman will have it all to do when featuring as Arsenal’s leading figure on Tuesday night.

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Having failed to find the net in 10 games, Giroud is experiencing the worst spell of his season and a starting place against a shaky Tigers defence could provide some much-needed goals.

Welbeck was hard working, committed and showed real fight against Spurs, and Giroud can learn a lot from the youngster to drive him into finding some form again.

Giroud will have pace on the wings yet again, and it will be vital to get balls into the aerial channels for the striker to either knock down or strike into the back of the net.

There are no two ways about it, Giroud needs to perform in this game for the fans and the managers sake, he’ll have the Euro’s in the back of his head which could be vital to his confidence.

Hull City – Eldin Jakupvic

The goalkeeper pulled off 11 key saves against Arsenal in the return fixture, more than any other opposition goalkeeper the Gunners have faced so far this season.

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And he will have to find his MOTM performance once again if he’s to stop the Gunners from running riot, but the fact Hull are underdogs will play into his hands brilliantly.

Jakupovic looked relaxed at the Emirates Stadium and he’ll no doubt be raring to go in this fixture to show Steve Bruce he’s the man to claim the gloves week in, week out.

He’s a fan favourite at both of these clubs, but Arsenal will be fully aware of his abilities this time and will be prepared to try something new.

Predicted Line-Ups

Arsenal

Goalkeeper: Wenger has no choice than to stick with Ospina in goal, but his performance at White Hart Lane shows he’s ready to step up and take charge between the sticks.

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Defence: Calum Chambers will replace the tired legs of Hector Bellerin at right-back, who looked to be falling short against Spurs so a rest will do him some good.

Defensive Midfield: Mohammed Elneny will be partnered with Mathieu Flamini in another defensive tactic which should allow the Egyptian to get forward a bit more than on the weekend.

Midfield: Theo Walcott and Joel Campbell will be given a chance to show their credentials once again, and competition on the wings is at an all-time high to drive Walcott back into form. Alex Iwobi is likely to take the place of Mesut Ozil and pull the strings in attacking midfield, and his impressive style of play has proven to be a breath of fresh air for the fans.

Forward: Olivier Giroud has to grab himself a goal to silence his critics and a fixture like this could be perfect timing for the striker to find some form.

Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Ospina, Chambers, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Gibbs, Flamini, Elneny, Campbell, Iwobi, Walcott, Giroud

Hull City

Goalkeeper: As stated above, Jakupovic will do anything to pull out a performance that he showed in the Emirates, but this with win or bust on the cards Arsenal will fight hard.

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Defence: Sticking with three at the back is a risk for Steve Bruce but something he’s done all season, FA Cup final scorer Curtis Davies will lead the back line.

Defensive Midfield: David Meyler will control the midfield, his Premier League experience cold trump the young legs of Iwobi. Meanwhile, wing-backs of Josh Tymon and Ahmed Elmohammady will be ready to pounce when the inevitable counter attacks loom.

Midfield: Following his debut against the Gunners earlier this year, Nick Powell still has a point to prove but shouldn’t trouble the defence too much whilst playing in CAM.

Forward: With Akpom missing and Abel Hernandez rested, we’re likely to see the attacking mind of Adama Diomande come into play, his vision is good, his finishing not so much.

Predicted XI (3-5-1-1): Jakupovic, Davies, Bruce, Maguire, Elmohamady, Tymon, Meyler, Taylor, Maloney, Powell, Diomande

Prediction

Hull City 0 – 2 Arsenal 

The Gunners need this result to overturn a dreadful four weeks of football and ultimately get the fans back on Wenger’s side, who are set to be thrown out of the Champions League next week.

Therefore, the chance of a third successive FA Cup and strong title challenge will be enough to maintain some positive confidence through the campaign climax.

Ideally, neither one of these sides wants this extra game but to Steve Bruce the chance to get back into the Premier League is fundamental to his career, and he will rest some key men.

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I think Arsenal will have too much to play for, and they will want this tie more because otherwise it could spell a downward vendetta against the manager from fans and critics alike.

Hull have very little in the way of troubling the hands of Ospina, but they will try everything at set pieces, knowing the zonal marking of Arsenal can sometimes be their biggest weakness.

I’m tipping Olivier Giroud to open the scoring, and Arsenal to take control of the game from the off, Hull’s players might not be up for this but their fans certainly will.

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