Defending FA Cup champions Arsenal face Hull City for the third season in a row in England’s oldest soccer competition on Feb. 20 at 7.45 a.m. EST. Having lost their last two encounters against the Gunners, can they upset their much-fancied Premier League counterparts? Click here to watch the live stream and find out!
They must be sick of the site of Arsenal. In the past two years, the Gunners have eliminated Hull City from the FA Cup — most famously in the FA Cup Final in 2014 after dropping a 2 goal lead to eventually lose 3-2. Will it be third time lucky for the team from the Championship? Or will Arsenal march into the 6th round? We’ll have all the answers for you if you just click down to the live stream!
Hull could benefit from their opponent’s team selection. With an important Champions League game against tax-owing Neymar‘s Barcelona on the horizon, Arsenal could rest several key stars to avoid any possible injuries. So, the Tigers can take heart that it’s unlikely stars such as Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez will play.
With that said, Arsenal does have a pretty strong squad of players that can come into the team and are capable of beating a team ranked a division below them. England youth international Calum Chambers will be one likely starter, as will Danny Welbeck, who is likely to be given match-time as he bids to return to full fitness after spending 10 months out with injury. He will be brimming with confidence after his late winning goal against Leicester City in the Premier League last time out.
Despite their relegation from the Premier League last season, Hull look likely to bounce right back up again. They have been in excellent form in the Championship and currently sit in first position. With Uruguayan striker Abel Hernandez, who has 16 league goals this year, leading their attack, Hull are bound to cause Arsenal some problems defensively.
Hull are also likely to hand a debut to on-loan Manchester United forward Nick Powell, as per manager Steve Bruce‘s comments. “To be fair to Nick, he came here with a bit of an injury but he has now trained for ten days,” he told the club’s official website. “He’ll definitely play on Saturday, as will all of the ones who haven’t been playing recently.”
It sounds like Hull will go out for all-out-attack approach, with a tie and possible replay no good for either sides, as they both bid for success in their respective leagues.
HollywoodLifers, do you think there will be a cup upset? Will Arsenal take their eye of the ball, literally, and come unstuck against Hull? Tell us your thoughts below!