The last time Arsenal played Hull, Andrei Arshavin and Nicolas Bendtner (pictured above) grabbed the goals needed to defeat Hull in 2010. The 2009/10 season was the last year Arsenal were involved in a Premier League title race. That team contained: Cesc Fabregas, Robin Van Persie, Samir Nasri, Andrei Arshavin, Thomas Vermaelen and William Gallas who were all in fantastic form.
Since those heady days all but one, Vermaelen, have left - and even he is not guaranteed a place in the starting line up. In that sense it is no surprise Arsenal have failed to be involved a title race since. In fact, three seasons have passed since the 2009/10 season and in the last two, Arsenal just about secured top four status - much to the chagrin of Tottenham fans.
This season Arsenal find themselves ahead in the title race and it is down to them finally replacing the players they sold. In 2009/10 Fabregas hit 19 in all competitions; already Ramsey has 13. Similarly, although not as good as Van Persie, Giroud is rarely injured and his constant presence means they can rely on him, unlike Van Persie who only played 20 games in all competitions in 2009/10. Elsewhere, Cazorla is every bit as good as Samir Nasri; in Ozil they have someone even more proficient in assists than Arshavin; finally, at the back, Koscienly and Mertesacker marshal the defence just as well as Vermaelen and Gallas did.
The result is a team that can score goals from any given angle, but can also shut out the opposition. But will they be able to keep up their good form against Hull?
Against Liverpool, Hull were expected by many pundits to keel over and take a beating; that day Hull certainly showed they are not pushovers. They are workmanlike in their approach, but to dole out lazy platitudes to them is wholly inaccurate and does a disservice to the work Steve Bruce has done.
Hull are one of the most tactically astute and flexible team in the league - something denoted by the number of formations they have deployed this season (brackets indicate how many teams formation has been used).
Indeed, Hull's home form has been simply outstanding, they have gained 14 of their 17 points at home. Away however, Hull are a different outfit altogether. From a team that is organised and assured at home, they become the total opposite when required to chase the game.
Arsenal are masters at playing keep ball around the edges of the box (left side of screenshot two) and it seems as though this game is tailor made for Mesut Ozil to thread one of his famous through balls. Given Theo Walcott is fully fit now, Wenger may opt for him to stretch the game if Hull decide to pack the middle. Either way Arsenal have many options to affect the game and I would expect them to have too much for Hull to handle.
Arsenal 2-0 Hull City