Saturday’s match marks the twelfth anniversary of Arsene’s appointment as Arsenal manager, in a week where he picked his youngest ever side and he and his young players have been receiving praise following the Carling Cup result. It’s all smiles at Arsenal at the moment and long may it continue. If Tuesday’s result did anything, it may have shown members of the first team that the second string are ready and raring to go. Vela’s hatrick and Bendtner’s brace must have Adebayor and van Persie concentrating on scoring goals, otherwise their starting partnership could well be in jeopardy. The performances of players like Wilshere and Ramsey should keep players like Denilson and Eboue improving, as they know there are players behind them ready and willing to take their place should they slip up. It’s still youth backed up by more youth, but at the moment it seems to be working.
Hull have had a rather good start to the season, winning two and drawing two of their first five games in the top flight (although their loss was a 5-0 defeat at home to Wigan). They find themselves seventh in the table, with three points more than Manchester United. We’re looking to continue our 100% home record so far this season in all competitions, as well as our high scoring run of 21 goals in six games since the defeat to Fulham. The longer this run continues, the less it feels like that loss was a shuddering vision of what this season is going to be like, and more like it was just a bad day at the office. Our next league games are against Sunderland, Everton, West Ham, Spurs and Stoke, and there’s no reason we can’t keep our top spot during that time up to when we face Manchester United and Chelsea in November. We haven’t faced any massive tests yet and we don’t for a while, but we can only beat what’s put in front of us, and in recent seasons our problem has been beating the shit teams when we need to.
Silvestre could be in the squad after recovering from his injury. Diaby will probably be out until after the international break at the start of October. Nasri should be available on Tuesday. With the Porto game in mind there could be a couple of changes to what would be the strongest team available, some of the Carling Cup players might get a game today.
Subs: Fabianski, Silvestre, Wilshere, Ramsey, Song, Bendtner, Vela.
Ex-Bolton Stelios Giannakopoulos and ex-Spurs Anthony Gardner both miss this game lacking match fitness, and Craig Fagan has a broken leg after Danny Guthrie’s "tackle" in their match with Newcastle last week.