With many still buzzing from Danny Welbeck's last gasp winner against Leicester this past weekend, and with a Champions League date with Barcelona looming, it's almost easy to overlook that Hull will be visiting the Emirates for a Fifth Round FA cup showdown which might see quite a few bench players get the starting nod.
Arsene Wenger gave his customary pre-match update on the squad and it was some good, and some not as good news, especially the centerback situation.
Koscielny will be available. [Gabriel] has a test today but it will be positive. He is running outside. He is out for Saturday. I believe one more week. He started running yesterday but one more week [is needed].
Even with Kos' availability we can probably expect Calum Chambers to get a nod at centerback for the sake of rotation. Speaking of rotation:
I will, as always, play a team who has a good chance to qualify. The normal squad is involved on Saturday. It is a normal squad and we'll play a usual strong team.
Wenger did note that Welbeck has a shot at starting and that Mohamed Elneny is adapting well enough to be considered a potential starter tomorrow. He also noted that the FA Cup is David Ospina's competition and that Petr Cech will get the day off.
Though many expect Arsenal to move on past this round, Wenger is treating Hull the same way he would a top-flight side due to their strong showing in the Championship. Therefore, expect to see an Arsenal side gunning for the win to keep their good momentum going in what's sure to be a difficult encounter midweek versus a strong Barcelona side.
The best way to prepare for Barcelona is to beat Hull tomorrow. If we don't do that then we put ourselves in a very bad position to prepare for [Barcelona]. The momentum is important and we have to show that mentally we are capable of winning by focusing on every single game.