Arsene Wenger will be mightily relieved to have registered a win and a draw from two pretty limp displays at the weekend then mid-week. He’ll expect a much improved performance against Hull where he can take confidence from a W9-D3-L0 record away to newly promoted sides since 2012/13.
The two new signings Lucas Perez and Shkodran Mustafi were both – perhaps understandably – a little offbeat against the Saints last week, while the latter looked very nervous in Paris mid-week, often being bailed out by his defensive partner Laurent Koscielny. With the pressure on Wenger to play his latest purchases the starting XI has often chopped and changed with just four players starting all four league games so far and as a result they’ve often started sluggishly, finding themselves level at the break on three occasions.
If caretaker boss Mike Phelan can cause an upset here then surely the board will have to instate him as the no.1. The team plays with great spirit under his stewardship and this was no more evident than in their solitary defeat this season at home to Man Utd. With just 38% possession they defended admirably and were moments away from holding on for a hard-fought point only to concede in the dying seconds. We imagine they’ll get 11 men behind the ball where possible here and approach the game in a similar vein, a tactic often undertaken when Arsenal visit promoted sides with 10 of their last 15 trips being level at the break. Given their impressive win record when travelling to the leagues new-boys, we expect The Gunners to be too strong over 90 minutes
Bet Bet: Draw/Arsenal HT/FT at 4.30