January 4, 17:30 GMT
Emirates Stadium, London
Arsenal host Hull City at the Emirates Stadium in a repeat of last year’s final and Hull City would be looking to exact revenge for that extra time loss. Hull had taken a two goal lead only for Arsenal to claw back and take the game to extra time, before winning the game.
Arsenal would be looking to replicate last year’s result and start their defence of the FA Cup in style. With the Premier League campaign not going well for them, the cup would be their best chance to bring some joy to their supporters, just like it did last season.
Team News and Tactics
Arsene Wenger has confirmed that there will be changes made to his team, to give some of his regulars a much needed rest. However, it will be hard to see if there would be too many changes made, considering there are not many players available for selection. David Ospina will be getting a start in goal after a long absence, as well as Mathieu Flamini would be making a return after being rested in the game against Southampton.
Theo Walcott could well get a start in this game after he came on as a sub at Southampton, while the back 4 might remain the same, barring any niggles and strains. Danny Welbeck might make a return after the thigh problem kept him out of the previous match, and if he does, he will lead the line as Olivier Giroud serves the third match of his suspension.
Arsene Wenger will try and ensure that his team puts behind the confidence sapping defeat at Southampton and instead focus on the positives from that game as well as the previous two wins as he tries to go for another successful FA Cup campaign. With supporters already on edge about the lack of consistency from the team, dropping out of the FA Cup anytime soon will spark outrage again.
Predicted Line Up: Ospina; Gibbs, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Debuchy; Flamini, Coquelin; Alexis, Cazorla, Walcott; Welbeck
Hull City are in a bit of decent form, having notched wins against Everton and Sunderland, even though they lost to relegation threatened Leicester City. However, those wins came at a cost for manager Steve Bruce, with players like Gaston Ramirez, Liam Rosenior and Abel Hernandez joining the list of injured players that already had Diame and Dawson.
However, Steve Bruce, who won the FA Cup 3 times as a player, would want to launch another magical FA Cup campaign, and what better way to do that than knocking the defending champions out of the competition. If there is ever a good time to face Arsenal, then it is this, right after a defeat in which they gave their all and yet came away with 0 goals and 0 points.
Hull City will see the return of Tom Huddlestone as well as Stephen Quinn from suspension and this match could see opportunities for players such as Harry Maguire and Tom Ince. They would want to make the most of the opportunity to show their manager that they deserve more game time.
Predicted Line Up: McGregor; Bruce, Davies, Chester; Rosenior, Huddlestone, Livermore, Meyler, Elmohandy; Jelavic, Hernandez
- In the last 8 games between the two teams, Arsenal have scored a minimum of 2 goals in all competitions.
- Arsenal are unbeaten to Hull City in their last 8 games in all competitions.
- Arsenal are undefeated in their last 6 FA cup matches.
While Hull City would certainly be going into this game with a sense of revenge, it will be hard to see them pull an upset this time. Despite Arsenal’s problems in recent times, this is a game they should be able to win.
Predicted Score: Arsenal 2-1 Hull City