Arsenal are attempting to become the third ever side since 1871 to win three FA Cups on the spin – and they can move one step closer to that goal with victory over Championship leaders Hull City at the Emirates on Saturday. For all you quiz-addicted football nerds out there – the other two sides to win three FA Cups on the spin? Wanderers between 1875 and 1877, and then Blackburn Rovers between 1883 and 1885.
Give yourselves a hearty pat on the back if you nailed that one without the Google machine.
The Gunners go into the game led by a man who is not used to losing to lower league opposition in the FA Cup. Arsene Wenger has been faced with 39 FA Cup matches against lower league teams since taking the helm at Arsenal in late 1996. In almost two decades, he has lost just once to a lower league side…
Blackburn’s win in the Fifth Round in 2013 was Wenger’s one and only loss to a lower league club in the FA Cup – a defeat that came courtesy of a Colin Kazim-Richards scuffed volley that went straight into the ground, and spun up, above the defender on the line, clipped the post and went in. Filthy stuff.
Le Professeur’s record at this stage of the competition isn’t shabby – losing just 20 per cent of his 15 matches. He’s made the quarter finals in 42 per cent of the FA Cups he has been part of. A stat he can improve with victory of Steve Bruce’s high-flying Hull in a rematch of the 2014 final.
Arsenal go into Saturday’s clash as the red-hot favourites. The Gunners have lost just once at home since the opening day of the season (0-1 vs Chelsea) and Wenger’s side are now the favourites for the Premier League title after coming back from 1-0 down to beat Leicester 2-1 last week. Hull lead the Championship by a point ahead of Middlesbrough, but are still considered big outsiders at for the win at the Emirates.
A couple of short-priced punts that do appeal are under 2.5 goals at and both teams not to score, also at . Arsenal have kept clean sheets in 46 per cent of their league games, while Hull have managed to keep the opposition at bay in 50 per cent of their Championship games. It could be a super day to be a goalkeeper.
Hull have lost just six away games this year – three of which have been by the narrowest of margins at 1-0. It’s a punt that would have clicked just twice in 26 games for Arsenal this year (home and away vs Newcastle) but against a Hull side full of confidence it could be the smart correct score bet at . Steve Bruce’s men will be difficult to break down, and it could take a moment of magic from one of the Gunners key ment ot make the difference in a closely-contested and low-scoring affair.