Thursday, 9 February 2017

Arsenal v Hull City Match Preview

Arsenal must recover quickly from a damaging defeat to Chelsea as they look to keep their hopes of a Premier League top-four finish on track against Hull City.

The Gunners followed up a shock 2-1 home defeat to Watford by losing 3-1 against Chelsea on Saturday, leaving them 12 points behind Antonio Conte's title favourites with 14 games of the season remaining.

Arsene Wenger's men must pick themselves up from consecutive defeats as they welcome Hull to Emirates Stadium, though Marco Silva's side will be no pushovers - especially with Wenger still serving his touchline ban.

The Tigers drew against Manchester United at Old Trafford before beating Liverpool 2-0 at the KC Stadium on Saturday, and Arsenal will likely have to be on top form to avoid another home upset.


Hector Bellerin is "recovering well" from a suspected concussion suffered against Chelsea, though it remains to be seen whether the right-back will be passed fit for the Emirates clash.

Arsene Wenger's midfield options are still limited with Aaron Ramsey (calf) and Santi Cazorla (Achilles) out, although Mohamed Elneny is returning after defeat in the African Cup of Nations final with Egypt.

Hull beat Liverpool despite Michael Dawson injuring his calf in the warm-up, and the captain is likely to miss the trip to Arsenal. 

Dawson will join fellow centre-back Curtis Davies (hamstring) on the sidelines, but Andrea Ranocchia - on loan from Inter Milan - will have another chance to impress following a fine display against Liverpool.

Ryan Mason remains out with a skull fracture, while Markus Henriksen (shoulder), Will Keane (ACL) and Moses Odubajo (patella) complete a lengthy Tigers injury list. 


Arsenal: Cech; Gabriel, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Coquelin; Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez; Welbeck

Hull: Jakupovic, Elabdellaoui, Ranocchia, Maguire, Robertson, Huddlestone, N'Diaye, Grosicki, Goebel, Clucas, Hernandez

Arsenal are reported to be lining up a move for Joe Hart

The Gunners are said to be on the look out for a new goalkeeper to replace Cech, who dropped a clanger against his former club Chelsea at the weekend, and Hart is said to be a target.

Hart has been a revelation while on loan with Italian side Torino, and he will not be short on offers come the end of the season as he heads for the City exit door.

Claudio Bravo has struggled in the City starting line up, but it would appear all bridges between Hart and Pep Guardiola have been burned, and he will be allowed to leave in the summer. 

Chelsea are also known to be interested as there is a chance Thibaut Coutois could head to Real Madrid, so Arsenal will have to move quickly if they are to land their man.

It has been suggested that a figure of £15million could be enough to secure a deal for the England international, who will be keen to stay in the Premier League.

Shkodran Mustafi still believes Arsenal can still win Premier League title

Shkodran Mustafi has claimed that his side can still go on to win the Premier League title this season.

The Gunners are 12 points behind league leaders Chelsea with 14 games to play after back-to-back defeats against Watford and the Blues.

Despite their deficit, however, Mustafi remains positive, telling Sky Sports News:

"I think it's going to be more difficult than it was before but I'm a believer. I don't give up.

"As long as it's possible we're going to fight for it, and in the end we will see and if we're lucky enough and good enough to go for it or not.

"The first game we lost at home to Watford was really disappointing. We woke up a bit late, conceded two quick goals and it was difficult to come back.

"We were disappointed as well with losing at Chelsea, which was a completely different game.

We knew it would be difficult at Stamford Bridge, but we knew as well it's possible to win. I think in the end we didn't do enough." 

Up next for Arsenal is a league clash against Hull City at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.