Arsenal vs. Hull City
English Premier League
Monday, May 4, 2015
12PM PT/3PM ET/8PM BT
KC Stadium, Hull
Form: ARS Louis CK | HUL Carlos Mencia
US TV: NBC Sports Network | Worldwide TV info livesoccer.tv
There are a great number of games towards the end of any sports season that just don't matter - fates have been decided, guys typically have one eye on vacation, and as a result a lot of late season games like that lack a certain...intensity. This game, though, is probably not going to be one of them - Hull City are currently 16th, but they're a single point out of the relegation places. There's very little chance, then, that Hull will show up and be happy with a point - they'll want to win this game because that win will almost certainly secure them Premier League football next season.
Problem with that is, Arsenal don't actually lose to Hull, at least not in Hull - the last time Hull City won against Arsenal in Hull was in 1915. Fortunately for everyone, neither 1915 team will be taking the field today. Hull might need those reinforcements, though; leading goalscorer Nikica Jelavic (leading goalscorer, with eight goals; did I mention Hull are relegation-threatened?) is questionable while recovering from a knee problem that has sidelined him since March, Robert Snodgrass is out, and three or four other Hull players face late fitness tests.
Arsenal, of course, are Arsenaling their way through 2015; they haven't lost since February, and the points they dropped last weekend were the first dropped points since early January. Second place is within their grasp; some may not think that's all that impressive, but if Arsenal can lock down second place, I'll be thrilled. Health isn't an issue right now; Debuchy's "50-50" and of course Ox and Arteta are out, but otherwise the Gunners are as fit as they've been all spring, which is really fun to ponder.
Second place is the goal; Hull is the next step on that ladder. Keep climbing.