Heading into the weekend, Arsenal are unbeaten in 14 FA Cup ties. Two of those have been against Saturday’s opponents, Hull City, and will they be the victims again as we make it 15?
The first 12 of those 14 games unbeaten led us to consecutive FA Cup trophies, making it a total of 12 FA Cups, more than any other club. Arsenal are slowly closing in on 13 but, once again, the Tigers stand in our way.
Facing the media on Friday morning, Arsène Wenger seemed to be in good form. Saturday will be his 100th FA Cup match as Arsenal manager, an incredible tally, and the boss is very proud of what he’s achieved.
“I never imagined I would play 100 FA Cup games, it’s a privilege because 100 is quite a big number.
“We have done well as well in the FA Cup most of the time and I want to defend my record tomorrow.”
Wenger is envisaging a tough game against the side top of the Championship, but after the boost created by beating Leicester City the Frenchman is expecting his side to carry on in the same vein ahead of the visit of Barcelona.
“We are very happy to play in the FA Cup again and what is in our mind is the next game,” Wenger said. “I think we have created a momentum that you want to keep alive no matter what kind of competition you’re in.”
There isn’t much to tell in the way of team news, with no new injuries and no players returning from injury. Laurent Koscielny should be available for selection, but Gabriel is still out.
The boss hinted that starts for David Ospina and Mohamed Elneny are likely, and confessed he is considering starting Danny Welbeck after his heroics last weekend. Alex Iwobi will also be hoping to start after impressing in the last two rounds.
Possible XI: Ospina; Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Elneny, Iwobi; Walcott, Alexis, Campbell; Welbeck.
Hull City are top of the Championship and not to be taken lightly at all. The last round saw Arsenal tested by Burnley, and we know that England’s second flight is strong.
“They are in a strong position in the Championship. We know the level in the Championship has gone up tremendously and you need a top level performance to beat these teams,” Wenger told the media.
“If you go through the team they’ve all played in the Premier League, they’re all Premier League players, even on the bench. I consider them a Premier League team.”
Steve Bruce has lost 17 and won just two of his 24 meetings with Arsène Wenger, and has hinted that he will rest players this weekend as his side chases promotion to the Premier League.
The Tigers will be without Arsenal loanees Chuba Akpom and Isaac Hayden, but Manchester United loanee Nick Powell is set to make his debut.
Possible XI: McGregor; Taylor, Bruce, Davies, Robertson; Snodgrass, Diamé, Huddlestone, Meyer, Clucas; Hernández.
So, can Arsenal beat Hull in the FA Cup for a third consecutive season? Can Arsenal win the FA Cup for the third consecutive season?
Beating the visitors on Saturday would leave us in the quarter-final once again and keep spirits high ahead of Tuesday’s game against Barcelona.
She wore, she wore…