Arsenal and Hull City play a rematch of their FA Cup final of last year but in the third stage of the tournament on this occasion this Sunday, so freebets.com preview the betting opportunities.
Arsenal came out on top to finally lift their first trophy in nine years last May, defeating a resurgent Hull City who spurned a 2-0 lead before being denied by Aaron Ramsey’s extra-time winner.
The pair this time square off in the third round of the prestigious tournament, Steve Bruce looking for revenge as he bids to turn around a disappointing season for the Premier League’s relegation fighters.
The match will be shown live on BBC One at 5.30pm on Sunday 4 January 2015, as the FA Cup is joined by the big guns from the top tier of English footbal from here on.
Who will win?
Arsenal should enter as favourites considering the difference between both in the Premier League table, but then again, the magic of the FA Cup is the sense of unpredictablity as the underdogs show their fight. Hull City did just that to lead the final last year 2-0 after 10 minutes, but ultimately they crumbled under an intense Arsenal attack.
In nine games since 2008, Arsenal comfortably hold the winning advantage 7-1, Hull’s single victory being the first of these ties in 2008, while the previous outing between the pair ended 2-2 in October this season.
The problems for Arsenal still remain both their defensive unpredictability and the length of their injury list, although Theo Walcott may well return for the FA Cup third round tie if not on New Year’s Day against Southampton after not starting in 12 months as a result of the anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered in the club’s 2-0 FA Cup victory over Tottenham Hotspur – ironically at this exact same stage in the tournament.
Danny Welbeck will feature should he shake off a thigh injury he suffered against West Ham United, while Wenger will be without Jack Wilshere until March because of ankle ligament damage. Neither Yaya Sanogo or midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta may feature either, the latter pair because of thigh and ankle injuries respectively.
The unique enhanced betting option available appears to be Winner’s 5/1 price boost for Arsenal to win to nil, although you must be registering for the first time to claim this offer.
Will there be goals?
Both sides have found it difficult to maintain a clean sheet this season to date, Arsenal in particular seeing it still as their ultimate kryptonite, the fact they conceded two rapidly at Wembley against Hull in the final last season illustrating that factor.
Goals should come, potentially from both sides as Nikica Jelavic returns to reap havoc among defenders for Hull alongisde Abel Hernandez, Steve Bruce’s men also boasting a defence that often create their own goals from set pieces.
Hull however have struggled more to find the back of the net this season than their home opposition, Arsenal having bagged 57 Premier League goals to Hull’s 44.
Who will score?
Arsenal have many goalscoring talents at their disposal, although the suspended Olivier Giroud will not be among them, leaving Danny Welbeck the likely target for much of Arsenal’s attacks.
Alexis Sanchez however is likely to relish one-on-one opportunities with the Hull defence if the current frailties of the Tigers continue to show in Sunday’s match. The Chile ace has thrived since his switch from Barcelona to the Gunners, already having reached double goalscoring figures in the Premier League, Sanchez a credible 7/2 with Coral to score first.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has also impressed and was a vital part of the side’s FA Cup route to victory last season, likely to feature in an attacking role on Sunday.
Although seemingly destined to be heading out of the London club in this month’s transfer window, Lukas Podolski’s appearances outside of the Premier League for Arsenal have been very impressive, Wenger potentially having to think about bringing the German in for rotation.
Jelavic will be the man Wenger must focus his team’s defensive efforts on most should the Croatian feature, while set pieces will require more attention from the Gunners’ back four.
Correct Score Prediction:
Arsenal To Win 3-0 – 9/1 (BetVictor)