Hull City Preview: Eyes On The Tigers
Hull is one of the opponents Arsène would have chosen for today, if we’re honest. Relegation-threatened but not likely to pose much of a threat, even off the back of creditable win and draw against Manchester United, followed by ending Liverpool’s title hopes last weekend. We can’t take them for granted but honestly, we may as well pack our suitcases and go on holiday if we don’t win today.
With Bayern Munich next week, the question for Arsène is whether he rotates the side or shows his hand to the watching German spies in the stands. With Mohammed Elneny back from the African Cup of Nations, the centre of the midfield will look a bit stronger than last week although I wouldn’t drop the Ox from the line-up; that ‘honour’ goes to Theo Walcott, with Ox on the right. Walcott may pose more of a goal-threat but his crossing is woeful most of the time and playing Giroud in the middle needs good delivery.
The biggest question is whether to play Özil or Iwobi. Mesut was nowhere to be seen at Stamford Bridge but he has a tendency to go missing in the big away games so that was no surprise. Iwobi at least tried. Dropping a £42m signing may seem suicidal but what else can Wenger do to shake some life back into the squad? The season is going down the pan and unless we pull off a miracle in Munich, we’re left with ‘just’ the FA Cup.
Which I’ll take before you ask.
The last question in Arsène’s mind has to be whether to play Petr Cech? The third goal last week was a brain-freeze that any player can suffer from but more errors are slipping into Cech’s game recently. The other thing is whether you want Ospina to start in Munich not having played since Southampton? I don’t; can’t understand the thinking of having a specialist cup goalkeeper without warming him up properly.
But we’re more in need of a win than Hull. They need the points but we need it for our collective sanity!