Wenger considers Hull to be a Premier League team

Arsene Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says that he still considers Hull City to be a Premier League side - despite last season's relegation to the Championship.

 

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has told the club's official website that the strength of Hull City's squad effectively makes them a Premier League club.

 

The two sides will collide at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday as they face each other in the FA Cup for the third successive year.

 

Since last season's tie in the third round, Hull have suffered relegation from the top flight, but they currently top the Championship standings after maintaining the bulk of their players form the 2014-15 campaign.

 

That has led to Wenger playing down his team's tag of clear favourites for the North London fixture, and pointed to their difficulty in overcoming Burnley in the previous round as proof that they cannot afford to take anything for granted.

 

Wenger said: "They are in a strong position in the Championship, but the level in the Championship has gone up tremendously. We saw it against Burnley, you need a top-level performance to beat these teams.

“They are very strong because they have been together for a long time. Let’s not forget, if you go through their team they have all played together in the Premier League.

“They are all Premier League players, even on the bench. I consider them a Premier League team."

The most famous FA Cup encounter between Arsenal and Hull came in the final in 2014, when the Tigers threatened a huge upset by taking an early 2-0 lead.

However, the Gunners rallied to win 3-2 after extra-time, before they successfully retained the trophy against Aston Villa last year.

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