Arsenal are the new favourites for the Premier League after last weekend’s dramatic win against Leicester and they’ll hope for an easier ride this weekend against a familiar foe from the Championship. They beat Hull in the third round last year while the season before they produced a comeback from 2-0 down to beat the Tigers in extra-time in the final and in 2009 they beat them in the 6th Round.
Arsenal’s form in the cup is excellent having won the last two titles and since 1999 they’ve won 13 of 16 home ties against Championship opposition. There have been some upsets in recent years at this stage though, with Premier League sides winning just 15 of 29 home 5th Round ties against Championship teams since 2003/04, with eight finishing level and six away wins. So what chance do Hull have?
Well the Tigers are sitting top of the Championship, where they have the third best attack and the second best defensive record this season and after being relegated last term this is very much a team designed to go straight back up to the Premier League. The goals have slightly dried up recently but that has been more than compensated for by conceding just three goals in nine games in 2016. Certainly on the road, their recent performances have been quite tight affairs as five of the last six have been goalless at half-time with 11 of the 12 goals in those matches coming after the break.
Arsenal’s form is hardly setting the world alight, with three wins in their last seven matches, but defensively they are pretty solid having conceded just three times in six games since a 3-3 draw with Liverpool. The biggest factor here could be their upcoming clash with Barcelona on Tuesday and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see some rotation, particularly with a key run of Premier League games to follow. The Gunners travel to Man Utd next Sunday before a midweek game against Swansea and then a trip to Spurs the following weekend in a week that could define their title hopes.
Just three of Arsenal’s 18 home games this season have had more than three goals while 11 have had exactly 2-3 goals and no visiting side has scored more than once in the 14 matches here since Olympiakos netted three times in September. 2-3 Goals can be backed in Total Goals at 2.05 and is probably worth a punt in a match that might be closer than expected. However, with that in mind it is the half-time draw that is our best bet for the match.
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