Gunners should enjoy road to Hull in FA Cup fifth round replay
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | March 7, 2016
Hull City v Arsenal
- FA Cup fifth round replay
- Tuesday, March 8th
- Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
- KC Stadium, Hull
- Live on BT Sport 1
Gunners to tame Tigers on Humberside again
Arsenal remain on course to eliminate Hull City from the FA Cup for a third successive season, because they have scored three goals on both their last two visits to the KC Stadium.
Coral have the Gunners as odds-on 4/5 favourites to win this fifth round replay in 90 minutes, though it is a superb 7/2 match special for Arsene Wenger’s men to net three or more in normal time (max stake £20) appeals.
A home win for the Tigers thus represents a huge upset at 15/4, while a draw at 13/5 means extra time and possibly penalties (13/2 matchday special).
Ramsey and Sanchez rampant in fixture
While Arsenal will be without suspended anchorman Francis Coquelin, one tactical nuance open to Wenger to plug the gap is moving Aaron Ramsey back into the engine room. He is one player hosts Hull should fear, as the Wales midfielder has scored on both his previous visits to Humberside.
Also scoring an extra-time winner in the 2014 FA Cup final and last time out at Tottenham, Ramsey represents real value at an awesome 11/4 anytime. Containing his exploits will be to Tigers boss Steve Bruce’s hopes of victory.
Chile forward Alexis Sanchez was on target last as the 10-man Gunners came back to hold north London neighbours Spurs on derby day, and he also possesses a superb record of four in as many matches against Hull.
Scoring first on two previous occasions is enough to advocate Sanchez to break the deadlock again at a fabulous 5/1. Wenger is also without first-choice goalie Petr Cech and centre back Laurent Koscielny as both have calf problems.
Long-term injury absentees for the visitors also include Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Santi Cazrola, so it is impossible for there to be wholesale changes in midfield.
Diame and Hernandez hopes for Hull if involved
In terms of home team scoring threats, the partnership of Uruguay international Abel Hernandez and forward-thinking Senegal midfielder Mohamed Diame has yielded 22 league goals in the Championship this term.
When the Tigers last took Premier League points off Arsenal, back in October 2014, it is no coincidence these two were on target. Striker Hernandez has hit seven in his last 10, so he is well worth considering at 15/8 in the anytime market.
Diame is naturally longer at 5/1, but if Bruce picks a full-strength side from a fully-fit squad, then he can exploit Ramsey’s raids forward with his own box-to-box ability.
Chuba Akpom is Hull’s leading FA Cup scorer with three, but is ineligible to face his parent club here, so rare starts for Shaun Maloney (4/1 anytime) and Manchester United loanee Nick Powell (11/4) could be on the cards.
Coral’s top tip: Scoring three at the KC is par for Arsenal, so take that superb 7/2 match special on offer for them get at least that many goals or more in 90 minutes with a maximum stake of £20.