On January fourth, the runners up of last year, Hull City, travel to the Emirates Stadium to take on the FA Cup holders, Arsenal. In a rematch of last year’s FA Cup final the two teams will meet once again in the third round of the FA Cup. Both of these teams have had disappointing league seasons so far with Arsenal sitting in sixth and Hull only two points off the relegation zone. With both teams not having the kind of league campaigns that they want so far, both teams and fan bases wouldn’t mind having a reprieve with a win in the FA Cup.
Both teams will be without some key players for this match. Hull will be without three of the people that started in their 2-2 draw with the Gunners. Starting centre-back Michael Dawson, starting left-back Andrew Robertson, and goalscorer Mohamed Diame will all be out through injury. The Tigers will also be without Robert Snodgrass and Liam Rosenior.
Arsenal are in an injury crisis, as it seems like they always are. The Gunners could get Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey back from injury, but it would be a big surprise if they were to start. Arsenal will also be without Lukas Podolski, Mathieu Flamini, Danny Welbeck, Abou Diaby, Serge Gnabry, Yaya Sanogo, Mikel Arteta, and Jack Wilshere at least until the next league game.
Arsenal and Hull have played 14 times in their histories. Arsenal have been the dominate team in the matchup winning 10 of those 14 meetings losing only two and drawing two. Hull City have not beaten Arsenal in their last seven meetings with their last win coming in 2008. However the last time these two teams met they drew 2-2 at the Emirates. That was Hull’s first positive result against Arsenal since their win in 2008. The only other two times Hull have gotten positive results against the Gunners were prior to 1920.
Arsenal: Joel Campbell
Arsenal will likely heavily rotate their team and give some of the members of the squad that don’t get a whole lot of playing time. One player that will want to take this chance to prove himself is Costa Rican international Joel Campbell. Campbell had a fantastic World Cup with the over performing Costa Rica. Despite having such a good World Cup, the 22 year old has not had a great deal of opportunity making only three starts, none of which have been in the Premier League, and playing only 55 minutes in the Premier League. The Costa Rican international knows he needs to take his chance and will be hungry to perform if he gets the chance vs Hull.
Hull City: Nikica Jelavic
Hull have had trouble scoring goals against at times this season. Arsenal rarely don’t score at home, so Hull will need to have goals in them to advance in the cup. Nikica Jelavic is the Tigers’ leading goalscorer this season and will need to follow up his goal against Everton with more goals for Hull to advance. The Croatian international has converted 16% of his chances this season and has scored a goal every 198 minutes. His goals have been huge for Hull and he will need more big goals for Hull to advance in the FA Cup and for them to stay in the Premier League.
These ties are always difficult to call because of the inevitable rotation from bigger clubs. The strength of squads of the big clubs usually can help them prevail. A lot of this match will depend on what kind of teams the two sides put out, but I do believe that Arsenal will be able to come out with the win at home.