One may be forgiven for not approaching this match with much enthusiasm,with all the focus lately on Arsenal's struggles in the League. The first go around featured a very positive Arsenal positively peppering the net but leaving without a goal, following a last-gasp win against title favourites Leicester City. Now, following an equally scintillating and frustrating game against the other title favourites, Arsenal travel to Hull to do it all again. Yaaaaaaay... *cough*
The mood of the team will be interesting to watch, whether the draw against Spurs incurs any faith in the squad. Either way, Wenger would be expected to rotate in a number of players as is his trend. Iwobi, Walcott, Campbell, Chambers are likely to start but decisions around the central midfield and in goal remain. Elneny seems to have the nod for league duties, finally getting the start on the weekend, that he be rested or may be given more time. Coquelin's suspension added in, all signs point to Flamini's inclusion (should Chambers be used as defensive rotation) which at the very least we can take as a hope he won't see a League match any time soon. Likewise, in net, Ospina has been the FA choice but with Cech out, does Wenger risk overplaying the Colombian?
Hull City, for their part, have hit a rough patch, having scored only once in the last 5 matches, seeing them slip from the top of the League Championship table. A no pressure visit from Arsenal could be just what they need to find their shooting boots or confidence ahead of a promotion push. Or a chance to rest - can't honestly say I know what Steve Bruce will do but would expect a more positive game plan this time around.
A win means a weekend date with Watford at home in the Quarterfinals of the FA Cup and, arguably, that may be the best reward for Arsenal, giving another chance to rest key players and playing time to those who need it. Or perhaps not, instead better to just get on with the league because for as wonderful it would be to win a third consecutive FA Cup, it really wasn't the title the team was hoping for. And not one they seem to be conceding just yet.
Given the recent struggles, what emphasis do you place on the FA Cup and what line-up would you like to see?