Andi Foster previews Arsenal's clash with Hull City
Following the international break, Premier League football returns this weekend. The season so far has already had a number of twists and turns and given current form Hull City could well be hoping for another upset when they visit the Emirates on Saturday.
Taking a look at the stats, who will come out on top?
Arsenal’s season so far has been a start to forget. Points have been dropped and the squad has already been ravaged by injuries to key players (and that on top of the squad potentially not being strengthened enough given the sale of Vermaelen).
However, despite the negatives (like already being 9 points away from the league leaders), Arsenal now find themselves at the start of a run of winnable games that will determine the course of their season.
The last time Arsenal met Hull was in their hard fought FA Cup final victory in May, but even going beyond that Hull have not beaten Arsenal since a 2-1 victory at the Emirates in 2008.
Arsenal are unbeaten at home this season but still find themselves in 6th place on home form given draws against Spurs and Manchester City.
And whilst Arsenal used to score goals for fun at home - this season they have averaged only 1.67 goals per game (ranking them 8th amongst the other teams) and they have conceded 1.33 goals per game (ranking them 14th defensively at home).
With defensive injuries (and suspensions) taking their toll for Arsenal – the best from of defence for them will simply be for them to attack. Hull however, will not simply roll over.
Hull currently find themselves in 11th place in the Premiership on 9 points but alongside Arsenal have one of the highest percentages of draws so far this season (only Sunderland, Burnley and Newcastle have more).
Hull have scored in every away game so far with an average of 1.33 goals per game (ranking as 8th overall away from home), however Hull have also conceded over a goal a game away from the KC stadium as well (and have kept no clean sheets).
Put simply, it would be a big surprise if either team on Saturday failed to score.
So what of a potential result? Arsenal will see that this will be the first of a run of games that could see them propel up the table between now and Christmas, however Hull will know that this is probably the best time to take on a wounded Arsenal side at the Emirates.
It’s a close game to call and I wouldn’t rule out a scoring draw, however I think that Arsenal will just about have enough in them to get a scrappy hard fought victory, and Hull might well score first.
Prediction: Arsenal 2 Hull City 1