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Arsenal v Hull: Pressing matters hand chance for unlikely scorers

| 20.02.2016

With both Arsene Wenger and Steve Bruce stating they are preparing to make a number of changes to their team for this weekend’s FA Cup Fifth Round clash, the door is open for some outside names to make their mark.

Arsenal – 11/20 favourites for the match – have one eye firmly fixed on Tuesday night’s clash with Barcelona and Lionel Messi, while Hull (11/2 outsiders) face fixtures on both Tuesday and Friday evening next week.

With the Tigers flying high in the Championship and facing a realistic shot of promotion to the Premier League, it’s easy to see why Bruce would prioritise that over an away cup tie at the two-time reigning holders.

While this may not make for a thrilling encounter, and a few big names absent, it throws open the opportunity for others to come in and grab a chance of first-team football.

Alex Iwobi

Cup games have been Iwobi’s sole chance to start matches under Arsene Wenger this season, with a smattering of late substitute appearances coming in the Premier League and Europe.

The Nigerian is yet to get off the mark for the Gunners, but he’ll be keen to impress in what will be his third start for the club, and at 7/1 to score first could represent a handy return.

Nick Powell

The highly-rated midfielder has been offered just 36 minutes of game-time under Louis van Gaal at Manchester United this season, and he’ll be desperate to get up and running now on loan at Hull.

Steve Bruce has already confirmed the former Crewe man will start the match, and though he hasn’t kicked on over the last couple of years, the 21-year-old still has time to make that breakthrough.

Scoring the opening goal at 16/1 would be a tidy way to remind van Gaal what he’s missing while an anytime strike is 11/2.

Shaun Maloney

Injuries and the form of Mohamed Diame have limited Maloney’s impact lately, and he hasn’t featured for Hull in 2016.

The Scot’s experience should see him be a major player for the Tigers this weekend however, and he certainly knows how to score against Arsenal, netting a stunning free-kick for Wigan at the Emirates in 2013.

A set-piece specialist, the midfielder could be a popular bet at 12/1 to score first and 9/2 anytime.

One much-more regular scorer for the Gunners is Olivier Giroud, and Ladbrokes are boosting Giroud to score and Arsenal to win from 13/10 to 2/1.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.