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Hull have to raise their game again against Arsenal in cup clash

On the last two occasions Arsenal and Hull City have met, the score has been 2-2 after 90 minutes. Coral offer that exact result as a 20/1 chance in their FA Cup third round meeting, while a draw of any kind, which means a replay on Humberside, is a 4/1 shot.

Arsene Wenger’s Gunners, who are trophy holders of the world’s oldest knockout football competition, are odds-on both to win in 90 minutes (1/3) and to qualify from the tie (1/7). Steve Bruce and the Tigers are outsiders in those respective markets at 8/1 and 9/2.

When these sides met in the FA Cup final back in May, Arsenal needed extra-time to beat Hull, and had to come from behind. The Gunners home form has improved over the winter, and they have now recorded four straight wins. Bruce’s boys, meanwhile, are inconsistent on the road, but have raised their game against the Londoners twice in the last seven months and should not be taken lightly.

The Tigers could not field former Croatia frontman Nikica Jelavic in their run to the cup final last term, but there is no ineligibility preventing him from turning out here. Jelavic has two in his last three appearances, and is an 11/4 chance to net again anytime.

Record Hull signing Abel Hernandez scored in the 2-2 at the Emirates back in October, and can also be backed at 11/4 in the same market. Bruce will send his boys out to pose a set piece threat, a traditional Arsenal weakness, so there is value to consider for central defenders Curtis Davies (8/1) and James Chester (12/1) to repeat their Wembley heroics here.

Wenger will be short in both midfield and attack for this contest, as Gunners frontman Olivier Giroud is banned and fellow forward Danny Welbeck injured, joining the likes of Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil on the sidelines.

This done leave punters relying heavily on Alexis Sanchez, but the Chile international has scored just twice in his last seven league outings. This makes him rather short at 10/11 in the anytime market, but he may be worth a punt to grab the opener (7/2) as he did this in Arsenal’s previous encounter with the Tigers.

While Theo Walcott may see some action here after long-term injury, Gunners dead ball taker Santi Cazorla offers some value at 2/1 to net anytime after four goals in six Premier League outings in the last month, and he helped haul the Londoners back into the cup final with a fine free-kick.

Punters that fancy Arsenal should look to enhance their status as odds-on favourites by taking the 21/10 on offer for a home win and both teams scoring. Wenger’s side have kept just one clean sheet in their last eight, so this real is a brilliant value bet.