Hull City vs Arsenal Preview: Gunners look to shoot down high flying Tigers

The hosts are looking to overturn a poor record against their esteemed opponents.

Hull City vs Arsenal Preview: Gunners look to shoot down high flying Tigers
Hull City v Arsenal Preview: Gunners look to shoot down high flying Tigers

Mike Phelan is preparing for his first official game in charge of Hull City after impressively steering the Tigers to their best start in a Premier League season following a dismal summer of preparation.

Phelan is a popular choice to continue at the helm of the Yorkshire club 

The former midfielder was awarded the role on Friday morning after overseeing two wins and a draw in the first four games of the season, despite having to adapt to top tier life with the smallest squad in the Premier League.

Yet Phelan faces arguably his toughest task of the campaign so far as he prepares his side for a home fixture they have not won for 101 years. Arsenal could become the first side to record six victories in Hull if they are successful on Saturday, with the hosts picking up just one point from their last seven meetings since a shock victory in North London eight years ago.

The teams are used to meeting in the FA Cup, after drawing each other in the past three seasons, including Arsenal's memorable comeback in the final three seasons ago. Not only do the Gunners have a solid record against their opponents but they also have an incredible record against newly promoted clubs. 21 wins and four draws in their last 25 outings of the sort shows they know what it takes to overturn the Premier League new boys.

Hull will protect their goal and look to break on the counter-attack 

Hull's tactics this season are hardly a secret. They will defend in numbers, leaving one up front, part of the reason they have faced more shots than any other Premier League side. They have been a part of three goalless scorelines at half-time in four games, with drama often occurring in the closing stages, as was the case against Manchester United and Burnley. Mike Phelan has also kept faith with the same starting 11 throughout the opening fixtures, though several new signings will be knocking on the door to begin Saturday's game.

Arsenal will be looking to the likes of Santi Cazorla and Alexis Sanchez to break down the Hull backline. The former has two goals and two assists already this season, whilst the latter has netted four in four against Hull.

Hull have no fresh injury concerns but are still missing a handful of defenders. Dieumerci Mbokani is fit after joining with a knock on deadline day, whilst Arsenal will give Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott late fitness tests. Aaron Ramsey, Per Mertesacker, Gabriel and Danny Welbeck are all still injured. 

With both teams separated only by goal difference and a place in the top four up for grabs, Saturday's contest is all set up for an intriguing encounter.