Before every Arsenal fixture, we’ll bring you a Scouting Report on the Gunners’ next opponents.
Arsène Wenger's side host Hull City in the FA Cup on Saturday. To find out more, we asked tactical expert Michael Cox.
Arsenal face Hull City in the FA Cup for the third consecutive season - following the final win in 2014, and last season's low-key 2-0 victory in the third round - but the Tigers have changed their system since then, and will be a different proposition.
"Up front, Uruguayan international Abel Hernandez struggled in the Premier League following his switch from Palermo, but has excelled this season, hitting 16 goals in 25 Championship games. A good all-round striker, he's powerful and capable of going in behind the opposition to reach long balls played into the channels"
Steve Bruce used a 3-5-2 formation in the FA Cup final and played 4-4-2 here last season, but throughout the Tigers’ Championship campaign he's generally used a 4-2-3-1 system. Mixing good technical midfielders who can retain possession with some dangerous counter-attackers higher up the pitch, Hull are capable of causing a surprise.
Allan McGregor is protected by a defence which tends to sit deep. Michael Dawson and Curtis Davies are experienced campaigners and dominant in the air - but neither wants to turn and sprint, so tend to minimise the space behind them whenever possible. The full-backs are capable of scampering forward into attacking positions - Andrew Robertson offers a wonderful left-footed delivery, while either Ahmed Elmohamady or Moses Adubajo will play on the opposite flank.
In the centre of midfield, Bruce uses the longstanding combination of two ex-Tottenham midfielders, Jake Livermore and Tom Huddlestone. The former is energetic and efficient with his use of the ball, which allows Huddlestone to drift around in deep positions, trying to find space before hitting long diagonals out wide - Hull focus much of their attacking out wide. The midfield trio is completed by Mohamed Diame, who is excellent at dribbling forward on the break, and is capable of clever contributions in the final third.
Out wide, Robert Snodgrass spent nearly a year out with a serious knee injury, but he's looked dangerous in recent weeks. Starting on the right flank, he's very left-footed and always wants to come inside. He's also a particular threat from free-kicks. On the opposite side, Sam Clucas is left-footed and tends to go down the line more.
Up front, Uruguayan international Abel Hernandez struggled in the Premier League following his switch from Palermo, but has excelled this season, hitting 16 goals in 25 Championship games. A good all-round striker, he's powerful and capable of going in behind the opposition to reach long balls played into the channels, which could be a useful approach as Hull look to spin the opposition and play on the counter-attack.
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