Saturday, October 18, 2014
Arsenal welcome Steve Bruce’s Hull City after the October international break and this will be the first time the two take on each other since Hull City agonizingly lost to the hosts in the FA Cup Final in May.
Team News, Tactics and Possible Line-Ups
Arsenal return from the international break looking to bounce back from their 2-0 defeat at Chelsea a fortnight ago. Arsène Wenger’s side have won just one of their last six Premier League games (against Aston Villa) since their opening day win against Crystal Palace.
The Gunners have an ongoing injury crisis which was made even worse over the international break as French international Laurent Koscielny is presently out with an Achilles injury and Mesut Özil faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a knee injury. The German is likely to make his return early next year.
Summer recruits Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy are both unavailable for this tie as the former is suspended and the latter is still out injured. This leaves Wenger in quite a fix as Per Mertesacker is the only fit centre-back available. Spaniard Nacho Monreal is expected to play alongside the German and Wenger would be hoping this centre back partnerships is fruitful for the side who might have to see these two in similar positionw some more times this season. Youngster Héctor Bellerín should start at right-back and Kieran Gibbs would start as the other full-back. Captain Mikel Arteta, who plays the holding role for the club is also out on the sidelines. Theo Walcott, who has been out for a long time, is expected to make his return soon but is not yet ready for the much awaited comeback.
Arsenal’s defence looks weak, but the midfield and attack contains a lot of world class names, which means that the Gunners can easily secure three points at home. Danny Welbeck would start as the solo striker. Behind him, we would see Alexis Sanchez on the right, Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain in the middle (as a number 10) and Santi Cazorla on the left, in attacking positions. The midfield would probably comprise Mathieu Flamini and Jack Wilshere. We can expect the 4-2-3-1 formation from Wenger.
Arsenal have a lot of injuries to be upset about but with the squad they posses, they should still easily win this match. They currently sit in the eighth position with ten points from seven games and Wenger’s team needs the three points to move up and begin a crucial period on a positive note.
Possible Line-Up (4-2-3-1): Szczesny; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Monreal, Gibbs; Arteta, Wilshere; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sánchez, Cazorla; Welbeck
The Tigers go into this match just one point behind Arsenal and would overtake them in the table if they win this tie. Arsenal have not been shut out at home since mid February against Bayern Munich, so Hull will have to work their socks off against the hosts, but do have the advantage of their opposition being a very depleted side due to injuries.
Hull don’t have too many new injuries to worry them. However, they will make a late check on Mohamed Diamé as the player was involved for his national side Senegal in Tunisia on Wednesday night, which means he would be feeling fatigued due to the long journey as well. Robert Snodgrass and Allan McGregor should be the only exclusions with injuries.
Steve Bruce will field his liked 3-5-2 formation, which he has used to great advantage last season. We will see Chester, Dawson, Davies in a three man defence. Ahmed Elmohamady, who is likely to clear the fitness test he’ll get before the game, will start as the right wing-back with 20 year old Andrew Robertson starting as the left wing-back. The youngster made a great impression in his side’s 2-0 win against Crystal Palace and he would be hoping to build on it in this big test. Diamé, Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore would fill the midfield/attack spots for Hull with Jelavic and record summer signing Abel Hernández occupying the other forward position. The Uruguayan international has scored two goals in four games for the Tigers. This will be the game where the 24 year old should show Bruce and the supporters why he is worth the £10m on him
Hull should really fancy their chances against Mathieu Flamini, who hasn’t looked the most impressive in the holding role and the really fragile and makeshift Arsenal defence.
Predicted Line-Up (3-5-2): Harper; Chester, Dawson, Davies; Elmohamady, Diamé, Huddlestone, Livermore, Robertson; Hernández, Jelavic.
- Arsenal have won five Premier league games in a row against Hull.
- The Gunners have scored 19 goals in eight games in all competitions against Steve Bruce’s men.
- Arsenal are unbeaten at home in 21 league matches since losing 3-1 to Aston Villa on the opening day of last season.
- Hull won the first ever top flight meeting between the two with a 2-1 at the Emirates.
Jack Wishere (Arsenal)
The 22 year old is finally looking like the man who took the footballing world by storm against Barcelona as a 19 year old in 2011. The 22 year old has recently put in some stellar performances for both club and country. He is coming into this game after a wonderful performance for England against Estonia where he comfortably dictated the flow and tempo of the game. He also fed Wayne Rooney with some great deliveries from which the England captain was unable to convert. If he can do the same for Arsenal in this game, the task for the hosts might become much easy.