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

Hull City KC South Stand

To be played on Sunday 20th April 2014 at 14:05. Venue: The KC Stadium, Hull.

Odds: Hull City 17/4, Draw 11/4, Arsenal 4/5

Last season: N/A

Preview & injury news

This is the dress rehearsal for the FA Cup final on May 17th after both teams came through their semi-finals last weekend. Hull beat Sheffield United 5-3, whilst Arsenal overcame Wigan Athletic on penalties. There has been a lot of pressure on the visitors lately to deliver the FA Cup but to also qualify for next season's Champions League. Hull could do with three points to just to make sure of their safety, though it does look like they will retain their Premier League status for next season.

The home side's league form has been a bit indifferent having won four and lost five of their last nine games which leaves them on 36 points, six points above the relegation zone. Prior to Arsenal's much needed midweek win over West Ham United, their form had been pretty poor having only won one of their previous six league games. However, the destiny of fourth place is back in their own hands as they sit a point ahead of Everton with four games to go.

On the injury front, Hull are without Allan McGregor who has a kidney injury whilst Robbie Brady has a groin problem. Paul McShane has an ankle injury and Joe Dudgeon is sidelined with a knee injury.

Arsenal's injury list is still lengthy despite a couple of players returning to the side and to training. Jack Wilshere is close to returning from a broken foot but that is likely to be next week at the earliest but Mesut Ozil is likely to return to the side after a hamstring problem. Nacho Monreal could also be fit to face Hull after a thigh problem whilst Serge Gnabry may be available sooner rather than later after a knee injury. Theo Walcott is still recovering from a long term knee injury whilst Abou Diaby is back in full training. 

Key stats

Here are the top scorers from the two teams in the Premier League this season:

Olivier Giroud Arsenal FW 14 32 2,759
Aaron Ramsey Arsenal MF 8 20 1,537
Lukas Podolski Arsenal FW 6 16 818
Robbie Brady Hull MF 3 16 890
Tom Huddlestone Hull MF 3 32 2,784
Nikica Jelavic Hull FW 3 12 1,034
Jake Livermore Hull MF 3 31 2,686

Their average possession statistics:

  Possession PercentagePlayed
Arsenal 55.97 34
Hull City 44.42 33

And the amount of clean sheets they've kept:

  Clean SheetPlayed
Arsenal 13 34
Hull City 10 33

5 players to watch

Tom Huddlestone - A former Tottenham man at the heart of the Hull midfield. When Steve Bruce's side keep hold of the ball well, Huddlestone is usually the man who is controlling proceedings. The home side won't want the game to get frantic in the middle of the park, and will hope Huddlestone dictates things in a calm, measured, fashion.

Lukas Podolski - Podolski seems to be a bit of an enigma. He is in and out of the side a lot, some days he can produce wonderful performances with some ruthless finishing and on other occasions he can be anonymous. Given his brace against West Ham this week, he may be given the nod at the KC Stadium, so his performance is worth keeping an eye on.

Shane Long - Signed by Hull in the January transfer window from West Brom, Long can be a nuisance against any side, and the Arsenal back four has looked very uncertain of late. He probably hasn't found the net with much regularity since his move to Humberside, but he has a good touch and can finish well. If he is given an opportunity it could spell danger for the Gunners.

Aaron Ramsey - Ramsey was in terrific form earlier on in the season before he got injured but now the Welshman is back in the side, the Gunners midfield looks a lot stronger and much more creative. A good performance against Hull could lead to the side taking more of a stranglehold on that fourth Champions League spot.

George Boyd - A player that opponents would regard as a bit of a nuisance, Boyd can make intelligent runs to open up the defence, and can also come up with the odd important goal. So, one would think that games like this are the kind that Boyd should relish. 

Earlier on in the season

Arsenal 2-0 Hull City, December 2013

A routine victory for the Gunners as Nicklas Bendtner took advantage of a rare start by heading Arsenal in front within two minutes from a Carl Jenkinson cross. Arsenal's movement looked slick but they failed to find a second goal until just after the interval when Mesut Ozil capitalised on some good work from Aaron Ramsey. The result kept Arsenal four points clear at the top of the Premier League.  

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch