Premier League Preview: Hull City v Arsenal

Arsenal and Hull City have the chance for some vital scouting of each other ahead of their FA Cup final meeting when they clash on Sunday.

Both sides came from behind against lower-league opposition to win their respective semi-finals last weekend, Arsenal knocking out Wigan Athletic on penalties while Hull overturned a 2-1 deficit to beat Sheffield United 5-3 in a scintillating encounter.

Steve Bruce has guided Hull to their maiden Cup final, while Wenger has the chance to end his nine-year trophy drought when they meet at the national stadium on May 17.

Ahead of this weekend's Premier League fixture at the KC Stadium, Wenger has earmarked his opposite number as a candidate for manager of the year, claiming he has drawn as much as he can out of Hull's squad this term.

"Hull have had a remarkable season and done well at home so we know a big performance is needed," Wenger said.

"He (Bruce) has done extremely well, one of the remarkable managers of the season. He has maintained Hull in the Premier League and reached the FA Cup final, it is remarkable what he has achieved."

Before the Cup showpiece, Arsenal have another target in their sights, with a top-four finish and qualification for the UEFA Champions League back in their hands after Tuesday's 3-1 win over West Ham and Everton's 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace the next day.

They will be wary of a trip to Hull though, where the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham have tripped up already this season.

Bruce's side are six points clear of the bottom three in 13th place with a favourable goal difference, having secured the former Sunderland boss' survival target of 10 wins in their last league encounter with Swansea City.

However, midfielder Tom Huddlestone is adamant that he and his team-mates cannot afford to rest on their laurels and is refusing to accept safety just yet.

"The 40-point mark is usually the marker (for staying up), although it has been lower than that in recent seasons," he told the club's official website.

"We know it's tight down there, but I think Fulham are third-bottom and six points off us and we still have to play them.

"It's all still to play for and no team is guaranteed safety, so we still have work to do."

Bruce is likely to welcome Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long back into the Hull attack after the pair were cup-tied for Wembley.

Wenger, meanwhile, was boosted by the news that Mesut Ozil could return after a hamstring injury, although Kieran Gibbs (ankle) is unavailable.

His place could go to Nacho Monreal, back in contention after a knock, while Mathieu Flamini returns from a two-match suspension.


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