English Premier League Preview – Hull City vs Arsenal Prediction Prediction – Sept 17, 2016 – KC Stadium
Hull City have performed much better than one would have expected them to. Their only loss in their 4 Premier League games was a tough 0-1 defeat to Manchester United. They drew with Burnley 1-1, beat Swansea City (a team that held Chelsea last week). Vanquished title holders Leicester City in a shock 2-1 win. They now find themselves on par with teams like Liverpool and Arsenal with 7 points. It's now the Gunners they will be taking on at home in the KC Stadium on Saturday.
Arsenal have not played up to their potential this season. A 3-4 loss to Liverpool, a avoidable home draw of 0-0 against Leicester and a shaky 2-1 win over Southampton last week haven't done their confidence much good. They have somewhat got back the ability to combine brilliantly in the field. However good finishing just seems to be eluding them. Giroud has been off-color, Alexis Sanchez below his best and Ozil a bit inconsistent.
Walcott has shown real pace and creativity in the wings and upfront and Wenger would want that to translate into goals. Laurent Koscielny looks a doubtful starter at the back, but Peter Cech is almost certain to man the posts as usual.
For Hull, coach Mark Phelan will depend on his 26-year old Paraguayan striker, Abel Hernandez, to get him goals. Hernandez was Hull’s top scorer last season getting as many as 25 goals. To probably give him company upfront will be Congolese striker Dieumerci Mbokani, Hull's new acquisition from Norwich City. Another new entrant in the form of 24-old Norwegian Markus Henriksen on loan from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar is expected to give the Tigers' midfield more teeth.
Barring a shock 2-1 defeat way back in the 2008-09 season, Arsenal haven't lost a single of their last 12 encounters with Hull and in fact won 9 of those. Although bookmakers aren't expecting this trend to change, one can sense some kind of urgency and expectancy at Hull and therein lies an element of unpredictability that the club has shown in the 2016-17.
Odds favor the Gunners to emerge victorious from Saturday night's clash despite their shaky progress in the current season.