Arsenal v Hull City - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

To be played on Wednesday 4th December 2013 at 19:45. Venue: Emirates Stadium, London.

Odds: Arsenal 2/9, Draw 13/2, Hull City 16/1

Last season: N/A

Preview & injury news

Both sides go into this game in pretty good spirits. Arsenal have maintained their gap at the top of the table to Chelsea by four points with an impressive win at Cardiff City last time out, whilst Hull managed a wonderful win over Liverpool to take themselves into the top half. Though Arsenal are heavily fancied here, it wouldn't be a surprise if they have to really work for it given how well drilled Steve Bruce has had his troops so far this season. Arsenal's home form since their surprise opening day loss has been exemplary, whilst Hull have had a solitary victory on the road against Newcastle.

On the injury front Arsenal are still without Lukas Podolski with a hamstring injury whilst Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain returns in the New Year. For Hull, Paul McShane is still struggling with a hamstring injury and Sone Aluko is out is struggling with a calf injury and is unlikely to return until late January.

Key stats

Aaron Ramsey is Arsenal's top scorer in the league with eight goals this season

Robbie Brady is Hull City's top scorer in the league with three goals this season

Arsenal had 56% possession in their last league match, a 3-0 win away to Cardiff City

Hull City had 39% possession in their last league match, a 3-1 win at home to Liverpool.

5 players to watch

Aaron Ramsey - His form never ceases to amaze so far this season as he seems to be benefiting the most from an Arsenal midfield that is always on the move. Adding goals to his game this season really has quietened the critics, and with him being Arsenal's top scorer in the league, it's hard to say he won't add to that tally against the Tigers.

Yannick Sagbo - His Man of the Match performance against Liverpool will have given him tremendous confidence. Can he trouble the Arsenal back line in a similar way this week?

Per Mertesacker - Perhaps the unsung hero in the Arsenal side this season, as the German centre-half has been in excellent form. Sagbo is a bit of a handful, but if Metersacker is on song, he can keep the big Hull forward quiet.

Tom Huddlestone - As a former Spurs man, he isn't going to get the warmest of welcomes but he is the man that pulls the strings for Hull and was very impressive against Liverpool. Expect Arsenal to pay him some close attention, and to be pressed a lot by Arsenal's midfield. Huddlestone will have to think quickly on his feet.

Olivier Giroud - Expect him to play to the whistle from now on after that rather embarrassing moment at Cardiff where he thought he was offside but the assistant referee's flag stayed down. However he has had a decent start to the season and is going to be a handful for the Hull defence.

Last time they met

Hull City 1-2 Arsenal, Premier League March 2010

Both sides needed the points in this match for very different reasons as Arsenal were chasing Chelsea and Manchester United at the top of the table whilst Hull City were battling for Premier League survival, and the timing of the winning goal for the home side was cruel. Arsenal took the lead in the 14th minute with a very good move finished off by Andrei Arshavin but Hull battled away and were awarded a penalty shortly before the half hour mark for a foul by Sol Campbell on Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink. Jimmy Bullard put away the spot kick. George Boateng was sent off for Hull for a second bookable offence, and the score remained level until Nicklas Bendtner won the game for Arsenal in the third minute of injury time. It allowed Arsenal to keep up the pressure at the top whilst Hull were three points from safety.

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