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Arsenal vs. Hull City: FA Cup preview

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My favorite cup competition reaches the Premier League stages.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Arsenal vs. Hull City
FA Cup Third Round
Emirates Stadium, London
Sunday, January 4, 2015
9.30 AM PT/12.30 PM ET/5.30 PM BT
Form: Irrelevant, because Cup
US TV: Fox Sports 2 | Worldwide TV: livesoccer.tv

I dearly love the FA Cup. I'm probably in the minority here but it's my favorite competition - more so than the Premiership, more than the Champions League, and way more than the Europa League (although I do like the EL pretty well). I love the randomness of it; I love that it's not a seeded draw that ensures the big teams will always win, and I love it when big teams have to go to small grounds and play tiny teams from the fourth and fifth division.

Obviously that last isn't the case with Arsenal's third round opponent; the big fixture bowl threw up a rematch of last year's final tomorrow, as Hull come to London for the opening Cup match for both teams. It's hoped that Arsenal will rest almost everyone who played a significant part in the holiday fixtures; expect the David Ospinas of the world to get starts as Arsenal will hopefully take this opportunity to give players like Alexis Sanchez a long overdue break.

For Hull, Mohamed Diame is a last minute question, but otherwise they should be more or less at full strength; hopefully a second-choice Arsenal will have enough in the tank to beat a full-strength Hull City. They did it in May at Wembley, so please do it again in January at the Emirates.