Arsenal's Nerves to Restrict Fluidity
If the Gunners' jittery performance in the semi-final win over Wigan Athletic is any indication, Arsenal will be a bag of the proverbial nerves at Wembley this weekend. Those same worries saw them crash and burn in the title race and could yet derail their hopes of a first trophy in nine years. Though Arsenal achieved their mesmeric best at times during both league wins over Hull the enormity of the occasion should stifle their freedom.
Curtis Davies to Show Roy Hodgson What He's Missing
Though a solitary centre back is unlikely to separate England from World Cup glory in Brazil, the omission of Curtis Davies from Roy Hodgson's 23-man squad announced on Monday was as glaring as it was unreported. Davies has been among the select group of the Premier League's best defenders this season but at 29 years old and without an international cap, Hodgson has opted for the future in Everton's John Stones. Hull's Player of the Year can still count himself unlucky and as part of an expected five-man defensive line, can assist in frustrating Arsenal.
Wenger's Future Not the Only One to Be Decided
Arsene Wenger's future might be of primary concern for Arsenal fans but the French boss is not the only one whose future is uncertain in north London. Bacary Sagna and Lukasz Fabianski – who has played in every round to the final – are both out of contract at the end of the season while Mikel Arteta and Thomas Vermaelen are among those with a year to run on their deals. All could feasibly be out the exit door come next summer regardless of the outcome this weekend, but you fancy the quartet require an impact to give themselves a chance.
Hull Fans Might be Forced to Embrace Winds of Change
Saturday will represent Hull's first ever taste of an FA Cup final. Though granted a second visit to Wembley via The Football Association's appetite for financial gain, it's a day out Hull fans will quickly want to repeat. In order to make these days more frequent, the Hull support might be forced to embrace the name change proposed by owner Assem Allam. Outvoted in his attempts to replace City with Tigers in the club name, the Egyptian owner remains adamant the side's future rests on such an alteration. Another day out at Wembley, and even victory, might open their eyes.
Classic Cup Final a Distant Dream
If FA Cup finals across the past decade bare any resemblance to this weekend's encounter, we are in for the dull affair on Saturday teatime. Regardless of the cast on show, recent finals have been similarly structured. Excluding Liverpool and West Ham United's final for the ages in 2006, there have been 14 goals in nine finals across the past 10 years, with attack against defence the primary narrative. Not helped by Arsenal's nerves and Hull's lack of thrust due to Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic being ineligible, expect more of the same.