The weekend is almost here, and that means one thing – it’s time to sit in front of the television and watch the scores come in. One of the most eagerly anticipated matches sees high-flying Hull City play host to Arsenal, who’ve had a slow start to the new campaign, already sitting five points off the pace. Arsene Wenger will be hoping to build on a solid 1-1 draw in the Champions League away at PSG midweek, whereas Phelan’s Tigers have had a full week since their 1-1 draw away at Burnley.
Hull City’s last three games have been a real mixed bag. They managed to secure an excellent 2-0 away victory against Swansea City, but followed that up with a heartbreaking 1-0 loss at home to Manchester United. Last weekend, they drew 1-1 away at Turf Moor, but there were plenty of positives to take away from that clash and all in all, with such a heavily disrupted pre-season, they are still performing well above expectations.
Arsenal were handed some tricky fixtures to start off with. They got hammered by Liverpool, drew against Leicester and have since racked up consecutive wins in their last pair of league fixtures, which obviously bodes well. The 3-1 victory away at Watford was pretty impressive, as was their most recent 2-1 win at home to Southampton.
Hull City predicted starting XI Arsenal predicted starting XI
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Suspensions and injuries
As we all know, Hull City are going through a real tough time of things with injuries and squad depth at the moment. Allan McGregor is a long-term casualty and isn’t expected back until 2017, while the same can be said for Moses Odubajo, who has a serious back problem. Michael Dawson will be out for another month despite an imminent return to training, as will Alex Bruce.
Arsenal themselves are struggling with key faces on the treatment table, too. Danny Welbeck has been ruled out of action until February which is a real shame for both club and country. Both Per Mertesacker and Carl Jenkinson have knee injuries, and Gabriel has an ankle issue which is keeping him out. Aaron Ramsey is a long-shot to return to the squad this weekend, but Theo Walcott should pass a fitness test after a slight issue.
This game will definitely be a tight affair, and we have seen just how well Hull City can defend despite immense pressure being put on their defence. Mike Phelan’s men have been one of the surprise packages at the start of the Premier League, and I fancy them to continue that trend here. I’m going for a draw, as the tiredness from Arsenal’s midweek Champions League game will cost them another two points here.
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