NO BAD BLOOD MY A*SE – ARSENAL VS HULL PREVIEW: 3 POINTS NEEDED
Arsenal will have to navigate a tricky away tie against Hull City in order to keep their Premier League title hopes alive. With Manchester United and Chelsea both playing at home this weekend, it seems likely that Arsenal will need to grind out another three points away from home to keep in touch with the top two.
Chelsea have a home derby against London rivals West Ham, but even with their goalkeeping crisis they will have too much for Zola’s inconsistent West Ham team. Similarly with Manchester United, they have a home tie against Fulham who are not great away from Craven Cottage and have just played a Europa League game in Italy last night, losing 3-1 to Juventus, so will be feeling the effects of that i presume. A comfortable home victory seems likely for both.
So this is a game that Arsenal simply have to win if they are to end this season as champions. Three points are a must for the Gunners. To fall 5-6 points behind again at this stage may write us out the title race psychologically as much as in reality. I still believe that Arsenal could win the league with 7 wins and a draw from the remaining 9 league game. If you look at the fixtures, Chelsea and United will drop points for sure. Just look at how close Man Utd were to dropping points at Wolves last week, there will be plenty more of those types of games to come. But a defeat on a day when your closest rivals both win can have damaging effects mentally on a team. Arsenal have clawed their way back into the title race twice already this season, to do it for a third time may be asking too much.
Looking at the table, with Arsenal sitting joint second and Hull joint second from last, you would think this should be a relatively easy one to predict. But no away game is a guarantee in the Premier League and no doubt Hull will be fighting for their lives. A saying all too appropriate for a couple of Hull players this week, as Jimmie Bullard and Nicky Barmby traded blows during a post-training warm down routine. Not the kind of team spirit Phil Brown would be looking for with his side battling to avoid relegation. But it might just be the kind of fighting spirit that sees them give Arsenal a tough match on Saturday evening. The KC stadium is not an easy place to go but Arsene Wenger’s side should be confident by the fact that Hull haven’t beaten Arsenal at home for nearly 100 years!
No bad blood?
Arsene Wenger has declared there is no bad blood between Arsenal and Hull.
“I feel there is respect, and we go in to the next game,” he said.
“We don’t make a special fuss of anything, we just try to play football. We have to focus on what is the most important, which is that the people who pay to come to watch a football game get something for their money. That is what we always try to do.
“We do not focus on bad blood. We just focus on our game and try to play well. In fact, if you look at what happened [in December], there was not a lot, nobody has been injured. There was a little brawl at some stage where we got punished, them as well, but the game was not dirty.
“I look forward to seeing my team play football well. As for the rest, I respect everybody in life, and I don’t make any special issue of that.”
Nice try Arsene. You may be big enough to forgive and forget but i assure you the fans aren’t! I despise that orange-faced p*ick Phil Brown, and that was before he accused captain fab’s of spitting at his assistant. The only problem i had with the accusation was that Cesc hadn’t spat at Brown! Go stick your stupid bluetooth headset up your a*se you t*at. I have nothing against Hull as a club, i just don’t like their manager and for that reason i hope they get relegated.
Arsenal have several worries ahead of the match. Captain Cesc Fabregas is definitely out with a hamstring problem, Thomas Rosicky is a doubt with a groin injury and Sagna is also doubtful with an ankle complaint.
Sol Campbell is expected to shake of cramp, although Wenger may select Silvestre anyway as he doesn’t feel Campbell can cope with two games in 4 days yet.
William Gallas remains sidelined with a recurrence of a calf injury, while Alex Song completes a two game ban. The are joined by long term absentees RVP, Gibbs, Djourou and Ramsey in missing the game.
Prefered starting team:
Eboue Campbell Vermaelen Clichy
I can see Big Nik B continuing his goalscoring form (Burnley aside!) with a goal tomorrow. His height and power have really helped the team in recent weeks and he will be vital again against a physical Hull side. I hope Eboue is given a chance even if Sagna is passed fit as he has been very impressive lately whenever he has played. Get Theo on the ball as much as possible and use his pace. Arshavin and Nasri will provide the silky-skills, but Walcott’s pace will terify them.
Another massive weekend to enjoy, let’s hope it’s another successful one for the Arsenal!!
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