FA Cup Final - Arsenal vs Hull: Team News, Match Preview & Likely Line-Ups

Date: Saturday, May 17 Venue: Wembley Stadium Kick-Off: 17:00 Can Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger end his side's nine-year trophy drought in this Saturday's FA Cup final against Hull?

Team News

Arsenal will hand late fitness tests to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Thomas Vermaelen ahead of Saturday's FA Cup Final. Midfielder Chamberlain has been struggling with a groin injury while defender Vermaelen missed his side's final game of the season after having five stitches in his knee. Manager Arsene Wenger must decide whether to play Wojciech Szczesny in goal or stick with Lukasz Fabianski, who has starred throughout much of the competition for the Gunners. Hull have fitness concerns over Paul McShane (ankle), James Chester (hamstring), Robbie Brady (groin) and Sone Aluko (ankle). Allan McGregor will likely continue in goal but Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long are both cup-tied. (Sky Sports)

Likely Line-Ups

Arsenal Fabianski; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Arteta, Ramsey, Podolski, Ozil, Cazorla, Giroud Hull Harper; Rosenior, Chester, Davies, Figueroa; Elmohamady, Huddlestone, Meyler, Livermore, Boyd; Sagbo

Key Stats

The Gunners have lifted the trophy on five of their last six appearances in the FA Cup final. The FA Cup was the last major piece of silverware won by Arsenal, beating Manchester United on penalties in 2005. Since then they have endured a nine-year barren run. Hull's six games in the 2014 FA Cup have produced 20 goals in total. The Tigers have won just three of their last 11 FA Cup matches when pitted against a team from the same division (D1 L7).

Match Preview

It's been a long old wait for Arsenal and their manager Arsene Wenger, but after almost ten years, they have a fantastic opportunity to end their trophy jinx. 2005 was the last time the Gunners lifted silverware, after seeing off Manchester United in the FA Cup, and the London club's trophy cabinet has displayed nothing but dust since. But against Hull they have a chance to put things right, with Steve Bruce's Tigers rank outsiders going into this encounter having lost back-to-back against Arsenal this season - 2-0 at The Emirates and 3-0 at the KC Stadium more recently on April 20. Hull also narrowly dodged relegation this season while Arsenal will be in the Champions League for another season, and it would take a big detachment from logic to envision anything less than a win for the Gunners. The same was said, however, in 2011, when Birmingham were the unfancied opponents in the League Cup final, only for Arsenal to blow it and go down 2-1. It could be then that Arsenal's biggest danger this Saturday is themselves - surely they won't capitulate and go into a tenth year without a trophy? Prediction 2-0
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Contributor
Contributor

Joseph is an accredited football journalist and has interviewed nearly all of the current 20 Barclay's Premier League managers. He is also a correspondent for Bleacher Report and has written for Caught Offside and Give Me Football.