On May fourth, Arsenal travel up to the KC Stadium to take on Hull City. After drawing against Chelsea last Sunday, Arsenal will look to get back to their winning ways against Steve Bruce’s side. The title may be gone for them, but Arsene Wenger’s side will be looking to finish as high as they can to not only avoid the Champions League qualifier, but also finish second for the first time in a decade. Hull will be on a high after back to back wins against Palace and Liverpool have lifted them out of the relegation zone and up to 15th. Those two wins essentially put them a win away from safety and they’d love to get that as soon as possible. With many games being meaningless and teams having nothing to play for, this is one game where both teams will both be desperate to win.
Both these teams have had injury crisis’ this season, but both have been getting their squad’s back to full strength in recent weeks. Arsenal will only be missing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mathieu Debuchy, and Mikel Arteta. Debuchy has picked up a hamstring injury while Oxlade-Chamberlain is still recovering from his groin injury. Arteta is fit, but lacks match practice, so he will not be in contention for the squad. Hull are still missing Robert Snodgrass with his long term knee injury, but their squad could look very different depending on the results of some late fitness tests. Curtis Davies, Mo Diame, Andrew Robertson, and Nikica Jelavic will all undergo late fitness tests before the match.
- The Gunners are unbeaten in their last eight against the Tigers.
- In the 25 meetings between the two sides, Hull have only ever won twice and have lost five out of six at home.
- Despite having the best defensive record in the bottom half of the table Hull are very much still in the relegation scrap.
- Hull have the second worst home scoring record outside of the bottom three this season.
- Arsenal are yet to lose to a team outside of the top ten this season.
Hull City: Dame N’Doye
Hull have struggled for goals all season and, despite all the money they spent in the summer, felt the need to go out and make another splash in the market during the January window. That splash was Dame N’Doye and, without him, the Tigers may already be cut adrift. The Senegalese striker has scored five goals in only nine starts earning them six points. His presence up top along with his goals have kept Hull afloat and Steve Bruce will hope he can grab another goal or two to keep Hull in the division.
Arsenal: Mesut Ozil
Arsenal’s second half revival has jolted them up the table and put them in position for their highest league finish since 2004/2005. Mesut Ozil has been a huge part in their revival. Since the German’s return to the side, the Gunners have looked much more fluid in their attack. Along with the added fluidity the German himself has been creating chance after chance for his side. Ozil has been criticized ever since his arrival in England, but he has started performing like the player Arsene Wenger bought.
Hull will likely look to press the Gunners high and try and take advantage of set pieces. Arsenal will play patiently and try to break them down. After being stopped last week by Chelsea, the gunners will be itching to score a couple against the tigers. I see the gunners getting a fairly routine victory, but Hull will put up a serious fight.
Prediction: 2-1 Arsenal