After Tuesday’s fun, Arsenal return to league action on Saturday with an away trip to Hull to face the 8th-place-but-only-on-goal-difference Hull City. Three teams are level on seven points - Liverpool, Arsenal, and Hull City. This match, then, is crucial for Arsenal to put some daylight between themselves and freshly promoted Hull, and if Liverpool drop points today at Chelsea, to open a gap there as well.
When: Saturday, September 17, 2016 - 7AM PT/10AM ET/3PM BT
Where: KCOM Stadium, Hull
Importance: As mentioned, Arsenal sit 7th right now, so points are very important if they don’t want to lose touch with the Chelseas and Manchester Citys of the league.
Key players: For Arsenal, it’s less who are the key players and more will the key players be allowed to play. Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny should get starts, but we thought that Tuesday too, so. To recycle a line from our last preview, Xhaka’s control was missed against Southampton and PSG, and being brought back into the squad would solidify both attack and defense. Plus you gotta figure Coqzorla needs a rest, right?
Hull appear set to give debuts to several of their summer signings, including striker Dieumerci Mbokani, and ex-Tottenham player Ryan Mason should get his first home start.
Key injuries/omissions: Everyone who was healthy is still healthy.
Probable starters: I am naming the lineup I want to see. I have no idea whether Wenger wants to see the same midfield I do, but much like when writing a letter to Santa, if I believe in it enough, it might happen.
Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Kos, Monreal; Xhaka, Elneny; Walcott, Özil, Alexis; Giroud