Some days I find no inspiration for the pre-match, today is one. I usually find something to hang the post on – our form, the oppositions form (or lack of it), their manager and his tactics, their town, sometimes a tale from my past AFC history but today ….. nothing.
I have already expressed my dislike of Steve Bruce and his tactics many times, I have written about how awful the town at the end of the Humber Bridge is, I have described our wonderful form and the players who have propelled us forward over the past few months – what is left?
Would you like to know what they eat in Hull? My guess is a healthy dose of fish and chips.
Tactics? A team fighting relegation will battle, Expect a physical confrontation and some long ball from Hull. Pacy clever stuff from our boys.
Form? You know ours; Hull have won their last two including beating Liverpool
Stats? We have yet to lose to a bottom half team and have drawn only twice.
Key player? N’Doye is a fine if “mature” centre forward. I watched him when he played up the road for FC København where he looked a fine player and was always top scorer. Fast, skilful and good at finding space. Good feet for a Big Man.
Same as the last few games
Why change a winning team?
Some, make that many, people are unhappy with Ramsey playing wide right – I disagree. If your concerns are his lack of pace I would counter by pointing out that Bellerin is our fastest player and Ramsey’s tendency to drift infield allows Bellerin to use the space created. Also Ramsey gives more defensive cover.
On the other hand, Theo offers something extra against a team who are unlikely to spend much time attacking. He will not be needed at the back, particularly since Coquelin has made us far more secure, and is a much better finisher than Ramsey. Mr Wenger rarely tweaks his teams and Theo is getting some wonderful experience of bench warming – will he think twice before signing a new contract knowing that he is no longer guaranteed a first team place? Both players are International stars and whomever plays will give their all to prove themselves worthy of the shirt.
Injuries. Just the long-termers. Debuchy crocked again.
Last two games against Hull? 2-2 at home (controversial Hull goal and a last minute equaliser from Welbz) and the FAC Final win
Ref: Lee Mason. Not the best.
This will be a difficult fixture as Hull battle to remain in the PL, a battle I am sure they will win as other teams have worse run-ins. Beating Liverpool was huge for Hull and a similar result tonight is not beyond the realms of possibility – but I think we must be favourites.
I am 56% confident.