Two and a half weeks ago these teams would have been a lot more positive about their form but while they both still sit third in their leagues and with decent shots of their respective titles they aren’t enjoying the best of runs.
Hull will have been delighted with a 0-0 in the first meeting between these teams but for a side that has been good going forward for much of the season they’ve now scored only once in five games. That hasn’t been too much of an issue however, as they’ve conceded just once in the last six, and they well placed to fight for the Championship and automatic promotion.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are eight points off Leicester now and with trips to Man City, West Ham and Everton still to come they look more likely to be fighting for fourth than first. So given they are all but out of the Champions League their season probably now depends on this competition. Things looked like being even worse at the weekend though as they trailed at White Hart Lane with only 10 men before Alexis Sanchez rescued a point and avoided a fourth consecutive defeat since the FA Cup draw with Hull.
In the past 20 years Arsenal have lost just one of their 16 FA Cup replays in normal time but half of the 10 that have been played on the road have headed into extra-time. Since 1994/95 there have been 49 FA Cup replays where a Championship side has been hosting a Premier League team and the away side has won 49% of the time, while Under 2.5 Goals has just about shaded it in the goals market in these ties, with 51% of the 49 seeing fewer than three strikes.
Hull’s recent record in the Cup is excellent having made the Final in 2014, where they eventually lost to the Gunners, and with a couple of extra days rest compared with their opponents they should be confident of making life hard for Arsenal. However, the league is clearly the most important thing for them and they made several changes ahead of the first meeting so don’t expect a particularly adventurous approach. Defensively they’ve been excellent in recent months and at home they’ve conceded just once in eight matches since the start of December while they’ve been beaten only once on their own turf all season.
The Gunners have won only once in their last six away matches and have a W3-D4-L4 record on the road since the start of November. They’re unlikely to rotate as much as the Tigers but Francis Coquelin, Laurent Koscielny and Petr Cech are just some of the regulars currently missing. That will give Hull hope of an upset but Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 13 FA Cup trips to Championship sides and we’d expect that to continue. The draw has some merit at 3.80 but with Hull’s defence playing so well and a number of changes in both teams this looks set to be a match where teams will struggle to score. Both teams have scored in just five of Arsenal’s last seven away matches and in just five of Hull’s 20 home matches all season so that is our pick of the bets in this one.
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