Alexis loves playing Hull & with Giroud back he’ll be lethal
Match Preview: Hull vs Arsenal – Premier League – 17.09.16
A win today, depending on other results, could see Arsenal climb as high as 2nd place. It’s early in the season but so far the vibes are similar to last — the league is wide open.
The Gunners are in a good run of results albeit with sketchy form. They are unbeaten in 4 matches but their last two results have looked rather fortunate. It is often said that the mark of champions is winning games you don’t deserve to though that never seems to apply to Arsenal.
Wenger’s team has looked disjointed, lacking in creativity and defensively suspect at times but they have managed to hold PSG to a draw in Paris and snatch a last gasp winner against Southampton.
After such performances the ruminations are that Arsenal will come undone against a better side. That was not the case against PSG who were the better team for large swathes of the game and Arsenal managed to ride the early storm – thanks in part to the profligacy of Cavani and the heroics of David Ospina – and strike back for a draw.
Chelsea are our next league opponents and they rarely lose two games on the bounce so it is imperative Arsenal pick up some much needed rhythm and belief against the Tigers.
Giroud is likely to start his first game of the season and hopefully put in the sort of commanding performance we know he is capable of. Xhaka missed out against PSG with Wenger saying he is being cautious with his integration but I do expect him to start today as this is a match where our superior technical ability will come to the fore.
Alexis is the one to watch today as he has 4 goals and 2 assists in four appearances against Hull. He’s getting back to his best self and if I were to write a thesis, or use a custom paper writing service, about the order of fixtures needed to get a player back to form Hull would be at the top of Alexis’. The introduction of Giroud changed the PSG game and freed Alexis to do what he does best. Alexis Sanchez is not a striker and his innate need to be involved with play and on the ball means he drops far too deep causing a loss of shape when we launch counterattacks. He’ll be back on the flank today, able to cut back inside, and likely to cause some damage.
Arsenal have not lost away to Hull in over 100 years and I don’t expect that to change today.
Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka, Cazorla; Özil; Iwobi, Alexis, Giroud
I expect to see substitute appearances from Pérez and Oxlade-Chamberlain.
“He [Alexis] had a long rest, five weeks’ holiday and it took him a while to be fully fit physically but now he is back.” – Arsène Wenger
Last 3 Meetings
- Hull 0-4 Arsenal (08.03.2016—FA Cup)
- Arsenal 0-0 Hull (20.02.2016—FA Cup)
- Hull 1-3 Arsenal (04.05.2015)
Hull City have had an excellent start to the season and a win in their next two games would match their best start to the season ever. Caretaker manager, ex-United assistant, Mike Phelan looks set to be named permanent manager, taking over from Steve Bruce who unexpectedly quit in the summer.
Under Phelan’s tutelage the Tigers beat the reigning champions on the opening day and swiftly followed that up with three vital points away to Swansea. A win in the league cup kept their good form going but they suffered a cruel stoppage time defeat against Manchester United. Last time out they drew with Burnley and they now match Arsenal for points from the opening four fixtures.
- Arsenal has not lost away to Hull since 1915.
- Hull have only taken one point from seven Premier League games against Arsenal since beating the Gunners in September 2008.
- Arsenal could become the first away side to win six competitive matches at Hull’s KCOM Stadium.
- The two sides have met in the FA Cup in each of the last three seasons, with Arsenal winning all three ties – including the 2014 FA Cup final.
- Alexis Sanchez has scored four times in as many games against Hull in all competitions.
- Hull are the first Premier League team to have an unchanged line-up for the opening four games since Newcastle in 2010.
- Arsene Wenger’s side are unbeaten in their last 25 Premier League games against newly-promoted sides since a defeat at QPR in March 2012 (W21, D4).
- Hull’s last three games have all been goalless at half-time and featured a goal in the 90th minute or later.
- The Gunners have already won three Premier League penalties in 2016-17, one more than they did in the whole of last season.
- Mike Phelan’s side have faced 78 attempts on their goal, more than any other club in the division.
- The Gunners are vying to win three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since Christmas.
- Santi Cazorla has scored two goals and provided two assists in his four league appearances so far this season.
Stats courtesy of Opta
4-0 to Arsenal. Alexis and Giroud to score.
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