A trip to Hull on Monday night where Arsenal can absolutely confirm a top four spot this year.
Maintaining our good form will give us a good chance of making sure we finish as high as second.
Here’s everything you need to know about this weekend’s opponents:
|Home Ground||KC Stadium|
|Record Signing||Abel Hernandez (£10M in 2014)|
|Top Scorer||Nikica Jelavić (8)|
|Most Assists||Ahmed Elmohamady (4)|
|Most Yellow Cards||Jake Livermore (9)|
|Star Player||Curtis Davies|
|Biggest Liability||Hatem Ben Arfa|
Style of play
Let’s just say it isn’t always pretty.
Hull have used a defensive formation for most of the season, looking to contain sides where possible before breaking. They sit deep and attack directly with the long passing of Tom Huddlestone taken advantage of. When they do get forward they ask questions of the defence by using the flanks to get crosses into the two strikers.
More than happy to sit back in their own half, Arsenal can expect them to defend on the edge of their own box on Monday night.
Hull have lined up with four defenders on 11 occasions this season but whenever possible Steve Bruce will use three centre-halves to try and force the opposition wide. Ahmed Elmohamady plays on the right and is the main attacking threat in transition with his high-energy runs. Andrew Robertson or Robbie Brady will probably play on the opposite side and look to be more secure in possession. Arsenal’s left back can expect to have plenty of work to do.
Up front the two strikers will look to test Arsenal physically and not give our defenders a moment of rest.
Top goalscorer Nikica Jelavić is out, as is captain and key defender Curtis Davies. With Mo Diamé doubtful Hull could be missing three of their best players on Monday.
McGregor; Chester, Dawson, McShane; Elmohamady, Livermore, Huddlestone, Quinn, Brady; N’Doye, Aluko.
Season so far
Two wins in a row see Hull in 16th place, hovering a dangerous one point above Sunderland in the final relegation spot following their win over Southampton on Saturday. Leicester also won on Saturday, making it five wins from six games, and are now only behind Hull on goal difference.
Last season saw their best ever Premier League finish and Steve Bruce spent plenty in the summer as he looked to maintain that progress. Shane Long was sold for a huge fee and over £35M (via Transfermarkt) was spent on first-team recruits who have played regularly.
They haven’t, however, been successful. Jake Livermore hasn’t lived up to his fee after an impressive loan spell last season. Loan deals for Gaston Ramirez and Hatem Ben Arfa haven’t paid off while the signings of Mohamed Diamé, Robert Snodgrass, and Abel Hernandez for reasonably large fees haven’t paid off.
Hull only lost two of their opening nine games, but also only won two of them. That run was followed by eight games without a win.
They have been fine defensively, 10 teams have conceded more goals this season, but Hull’s problem is going forward – a paltry 32 goals in 34 games means they are in trouble.
Two impressive wins in a row have kept their hopes alive, with Crystal Palace and Liverpool the sorry parties. Five of Hull’s eight wins this season have come at home. Their last five games at KC Stadium have brought three of those wins, with Chelsea the only side to beat them on their own patch in that time.
A 2-2 draw at the Emirates in October was followed up by a 2-0 win for Arsenal when the two sides met in the third round of the FA Cup back in January.
Arsenal’s last 5 results against Hull: WDWWW
|FA Cup||4/1/2015||(H)||W 2-0||Arsenal: Mertesacker (19) Alexis (81)
|League||18/10/2014||(H)||D 2-2||Arsenal: Alexis (12) Welbeck (90)
Hull: Diamé (16) Hernández (45)
|FA Cup||17/5/2014||(N)||W 3-2 (AET)||Arsenal: Cazorla (17) Koscielny (71) Ramsey (109)
Hull: Chester (4) Davies (8)
|League||20/4/2014||(A)||W 3-0||Arsenal: Ramsey (31) Podolski (45, 54)
|League||4/12/2013||(H)||W 2-0||Arsenal: Bendtner (2) Özil (47)
Record for Hull City v Arsenal:
Overall record between the two clubs:
Head to Head:
Hull’s last 5 results: WWLLL
|League||Crystal Palace||(A)||W 2-0||N’Doye (2)|
|League||Chelsea||(H)||L 2-3||Elmohamady, Hernández|