Arsenal return from the international break looking to bounce back from their 2-0 defeat at Chelsea a fortnight ago.
Arsène Wenger’s side have won just one of their last six Premier League games since their opening day win against Crystal Palace.
Hull City face the same scenario – just one win in six since beating Queens Park Rangers in their first game. Steve Bruce’s side were 2-0 winners over Crystal Palace going into the international break.
The Gunners have picked up even more injuries over the international break – Laurent Koscielny is out with an Achilles injury and Mesut Özil faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a knee injury.
Danny Welbeck and Tomáš Rosický both picked up knocks on international duty but are expected to be fit to face Hull.
With Calum Chambers suspended, Per Mertesacker is the only fit centre-back available to Wenger. Nacho Monreal expected to play alongside the German, with Héctor Bellerín at right-back with Mathieu Debuchy still injured. Mikel Arteta in front of the back four is also out injured.
Theo Walcott is not yet ready to return to the first-team after his long lay-off.
In comparison, the injury list is a lot shorter to Steve Bruce. Goalkeeper Allan McGregor and midfielder Robert Snodgrass are out, while Ahmed Elmohamady is a doubt.
Arsenal’s defence certainly looks weak with Arsène Wenger down to his bare bones. However, Arsenal’s midfield are capable of maintaining possession in midfield and potentially getting the better down the wings or in the middle. Danny Welbeck’s pace should also be a nuisance for the opponents’ three man defence.
Steve Bruce likes the 3-5-2 formation so we don’t see him changing for the trip to London this weekend. Hull should fancy their chances versus Mathieu Flamini and the makeshift Arsenal defence. The Tigers have not looked very good to start the season.
Danny Welbeck vs Hull defence
Strikers have been scoring freely against Hull City of late – Sergio Agüero, Edin Džeko (2), Papiss Cissé (2), Enner Valencia, Diafra Sakho, Gabby Agbonlahor and Andreas Wiemann have scored nine of the last ten conceded by the Tigers.
It looks a good match up for Danny Welbeck then against the visitors’ back three. The England international has found himself in several goalscoring positions in his early days as Arsenal’s sole striker and this game promises the striker some chances.
Alexis Sánchez vs Andrew Robertson
Andrew Robertson has been solid at left-back and left wingback for Hull City this season – contributing to a number of tackle and interceptions per game. His performances have allowed Steve Bruce to stick with three centre-backs.
Alexis Sánchez poses a new threat to the young Scot though. Arsenal’s big summer signing offers pace, strength, creativity and a goalscoring threat. Will Robertson have the experience and ability to handle the threat of the Chilean?
Nikica Jelavić vs Nacho Monreal
Already matched his goal tally from last season in less than half the games – Nikica Jelavić has got to fancy his chances if Laurent Koscielny is out. The Croatian will need supplying but the makeshift Arsenal defence looks vulnerable on paper at least. Mikel Arteta in front of the back four is also out injured.
Mathieu Flamini will try offer some sort of protection in front of the Gunners’ back four but what he has had to offer this season has been very poor.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Hull City
Two defences that have conceded a few goals of late could make for a goal fest. Arsenal may want to take a bit of caution and play a few central midfields to try protect their makeshift back four. We think Arsenal have enough attacking power to win this one.