IN-FORM Willie Duncan (@Willie_Duncan) is off to the Emirates in search of a winner in the early Saturday Premier League kick-off between Arsenal and Hull.
Arsenal v Hull | Saturday 12:30 | Sky Sports 1
Just when you think that the Gunners are gearing up for a push for the Premier League title, Arsene Wenger’s men throw in a couple of untimely defeats to leave themselves with a mountain to climb.
Last weekend’s loss at Stamford Bridge wouldn’t have been so bad, but for the hugely damaging home defeat at the hands of Watford just a few days before being beaten by the Blues.
The result? Arsenal are 12 points adrift of Chelsea in the race for the title and the team from north London cannot afford any more slips as they bid to secure the top-flight title for the first time since 2004.
Tigers battling releagtion
Hull have no time to ponder Arsenal’s predicament, for they have problems of their own.
The Tigers are right in the middle of a ferocious fight to avoid an immediate return to the Championship, having secured a spot in the Premier League with a win at Wembley in last season’s promotion play-off final.
Hull, however, have renewed hope; Marco Silva looked to have taken on mission impossible when he replaced Mike Phelan but the Portuguese has made such an impressive start that fans of the team from the KCOM are hopeful that they’ve landed the new “Special One”.
Silva may endure a sleepless night or two before boarding the bus to north London, though, for the Tigers have been terrible on their travels.
In fact, the goalless draw with Manchester United at the start of the month is the only time that Hull have avoided defeat in 10 away games in the Premier League.
Progress under Silva’s stewardship, nevertheless, has been steady; seven points have been procured from four Premier League matches since the former Olympiakos boss took charge and last week’s win against Liverpool was mighty impressive.
Goals on the agenda
The Tigers have been toothless on their travels, having scored in just one of their last eight league games away from home, but Silva’s side are playing with a spring in their step and, so, Arsenal may not have things entirely their own way.
Wenger’s men know where the net is – of that, there is no doubt, for the Gunners have grabbed a goal in each of their last 14 games; there have, however, been goals at both ends in four of Arsenal’s last five league fixtures.
Hull are enjoying an upturn in fortunes, while the Gunners are gloomy and, as a result, there is value in backing goals at both ends ahead of Saturday’s showdown in north London.
Arsenal v Hull – Both Teams To Score (23/20 William Hill)