- Arsenal boss offers injury update on Cazorla & Giroud
- Ratings: Cech shines but Ozil fails to spark as Arsenal held
- Video: Arsenal 0-0 Boro: Lackluster Gunners drop valuable points
- Teams: Arsenal v Middlesbrough: Cazorla out, Elneny in
- Team news: Wenger’s update on Ramsey, Welbeck, Giroud & Cazorla
- Preview: Arsenal v Boro, team news, line-up & prediction
- [Photos] Arsenal duo step-up injury comebacks in training today
- [Photos] Arsenal boost as injury doubt trains ahead of Boro game
- Arsene Wenger sets comeback date for forgotten Arsenal man
- Arsenal boss confirms fresh injury doubt for Middlesbrough game
PREVIEW: Hull v Arsenal: Injury News, Preferred Line-Up + Prediction
Another key weekend in the Premier League is upon us as Arsenal take on Hull City at the KC Stadium on Sunday.
Crystal Palace did us a huge favour on Wednesday after beating Everton 3-2 at Goodison Park. The result means fourth place is now in our hands again after we climbed back above the Toffees with a 3-1 win over West Ham 24 hours earlier.
The task is now simple. Win our remaining four league games and we’re guaranteed fourth, at least. Throw in a win in the FA Cup final and that should be considered a great season. Not what we all dreamed off in January when we were top of the table, but it should still be considered progress.
We were poor against the Hammer in the first half on Tuesday but I though we were far more like our old selves after the break. Key to this was the form of Santi Cazorla but nobody can deny Aaron Ramsey doesn’t make a huge difference. His assist for the third was superb and we’ll always be left wondering how the season would have gone had he stayed fit.
Hull is going to be a tricky test as they have a good home record and are a well organised team. Not to mention the fact they will be out for a morale-boosting result ahead of the FA Cup final.
They currently sit 13th in the table on 36 points – 6 clear of the bottom three – and Steve Bruce may feel he needs just another point or three to make sure they are safe for another season.
Team and Injury News
The big news is the return of playmaker Mesut Ozil. The German has trained all week after recovering from a hamstring injury but I think Arsene will keep him on the bench and give him 30 minutes in the second half, rather than throw him straight back in.
Kieran Gibbs has been ruled out but Nacho Monreal passed a late fitness test and will likely replace Thomas Vermaelen at left-back, even though I though the ‘skipper’ did very well against West Ham.
Mathieu Flamini is back from suspension, but Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Serge Gnabry remain out through injury. Abou Diaby is back in training but isn’t match fit yet.
Flamini should come in to replace Mikel Arteta, who has given his all in the last two games and needs a rest. Aaron Ramsey should also start after coming off the bench in midweek to set up the third goal.
Tomas Rosicky didn’t look 100% fit against the Hammers so I’d like to see The Ox come in on the right as he was completely rested last time out, and Lukas Podolski deserves to retain his place after a clinical brace. As mentioned previously, Ozil is likely to be among the subs and introduced in the second half to ease him back in.
This is a difficult one to call as Hull can be excellent at home on their day, but I just hope their players focus slips a little if they think they are safe from relegation.
Our need for a win is far greater than their’s but the added twist of this being a dress rehearsal for the FA Cup final could spice things up a little bit. I can see us edging this one by the odd goal.
Hull 1-2 Arsenal COYG!!!!
What are your thought ahead of the game?