Hull City aim to move a step closer to Premier League safety by gaining a positive result when they host Arsenal at the KC Stadium on Monday (20:00 BST, live on Sky Sports).
Hull come into the match on the back of two consecutive victories that have seen them establish a little breathing room ahead of the bottom three. They are positioned 15th in the Premier League hierarchy, with 34 points from eight wins, 10 draws and 16 defeats.
Steve Bruce’s (pictured) side followed their weekend win away to Crystal Palace with a 1-0 victory at home to Liverpool on Tuesday. It was a scrappy game, with limited chances of genuine note, but one from which the Tigers emerged triumphant thanks to Michael Dawson’s first-half header from an Ahmed El Mohamady cross. It was a hard-fought and crucial victory.
Best Match Betting Odds
3/4 Arsenal (Betfair Sportsbook, Boylesports)
14/5 Draw (Bet365, BetVictor, SkyBet, Ladbrokes, Stan James)
9/2 Hull (Bet365, Coral, BetVictor, SkyBet, William Hill, Betfair Sportsbook)
Hull cannot celebrate a third consecutive season of top-flight football just yet, but with four points and three places separating them from the relegation places just one more victory across their final four matches of the campaign should be sufficient to secure their safety. That would represent a good result at the end of a difficult campaign on and off the pitch.
The Tigers have struggled for goals throughout the season. They have scored less than one per match, while only three teams, two of whom sit in the bottom three, have scored fewer than Bruce’s men. Tuesday’s shutout provided them with their first back-to-back clean sheets in 19 months but their defensive record is generally quite strong.
Bruce will not be able to call upon the injured Curtis Davies (thigh) and Robert Snodgrass (knee) for this Premier League game, while Andrew Robertson (ankle), Mohamed Diame (knee) and Nikica Jelavic (knee) are doubtful.
Arsenal travel north on the back of a 10-match unbeaten run in all competitions, and having won 12 of their last 15 league matches. They are third in the Premier League table, with 67 points from 20 wins, seven draws and seven defeats.
Arsene Wenger’s side were involved in a fairly uneventful 0-0 draw at home to league leaders Chelsea last weekend. The visitors defended deep and narrow, and made it very difficult for Arsenal to find a way through. The Gunners edged the overall shot count but were only able to muster a single effort on target over the course of the 90 minutes.
The draw saw Chelsea maintain their 13-point gap to Arsenal at the top of the table and ended any faint hopes Wenger’s side may have had of overhauling them in the final weeks of the season. A second place finish does remain a highly realistic goal, especially as the Gunners have a game in hand on the two Manchester teams either side of them.
Arsenal started the season slowly but have generally been excellent since the turn of the year, with improvement coming at both ends of the pitch. Bar a major collapse they are set to qualify for the Champions League for their 16th consecutive year, while they still have an FA Cup final against Aston Villa to look forward to at the end of the month.
Wenger will definitely be without the injured Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hamstring) and Mikel Arteta (lack of match fitness) for this Bank Holiday Monday match, while Mathieu Debuchy (hamstring) is unlikely to play a part.
Hull City v Arsenal Betting Tips Verdict
These two sides have already met on two occasions this season. They played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in the league in October, while Arsenal were 2-0 victors when they met in the third round of the FA Cup in January. Hull defeated Arsenal 2-1 in their first Premier League season back in 2008, but Arsenal have won eight of the subsequent nine meetings.
Hull have provided themselves with an excellent chance of staying up with two strong and determined performances over the last week. Their home record has been pretty good since the turn of the year, with four wins, one draw and two defeats from seven matches, but they are likely to find the going pretty tough on Monday against in-form opponents.
Arsenal still have a mathematical chance of beating Chelsea to the league title but no realistic hopes of doing so. They do, though, still have an incentive to finish the season strongly, as finishing third or higher will provide them with a direct route into the group stage of next season’s Champions League. They have won their last four away league matches.
Hull are probably one win away from guaranteed safety but that victory is unlikely to come on Monday night.
- Back Arsenal to win @ best odds of 3/4 with Betfair or Boylesports.
- Olivier Giroud had scored seven times in his previous seven league matches prior to last weekend’s goalless draw at home to Chelsea and the Frenchman can be fancied to be amongst the goals on Monday night once again. Back Olivier Giroud to score at anytime @ biggest odds of 6/4 with BetVictor or Paddy Power.