Hull City manager Steve Bruce has revealed that Manchester United loanee Nick Powell will make his debut for the Tigers in the FA Cup fifth-round tie with Arsenal on Saturday (20 February). The boss confirmed he will rotate his squad with a number of fringe players featuring in the trip to the Emirates Stadium as a result of the Championship leaders' busy schedule.
Powell moved to the KC stadium on deadline day from Manchester United in order to help the Championship in their bid to return to the top flight. However, the 21-year-old starlet has since failed to feature in matchday squads so far as he arrived at the club with a minor injury.
Bruce has now claimed that the former Wigan and Leicester City loanee is ready to make his debut at Arsenal, hoping that this is the springboard for him playing a big part in the remainder of the campaign.
"Nick will definitely play," Bruce confirmed to the club's official website. "To be fair to Nick, he came here with a bit of an injury but he has now trained for ten days.
"When you look at a game like we had on Tuesday night against Brighton, Nick could be just the type of player we're looking for and he will have a big part to play in the coming weeks. I've told him that. He's versatile and can play as a striker or as a midfielder and I'm sure he can give us that bit of impetus."
"He'll definitely play on Saturday, as will all of the ones who haven't been playing recently.
Bruce added that other fringe players will also have the chance to play at the Emirates Stadium, as he needs fresh legs to cope with the busy scheduled. Having played a goalless draw against fellow promotion rivals Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday, the Tigers will have three further games in the space of seven days, with Championship encounters against Ipswich Town (Tuesday) and Sheffield Wednesday (Friday) following the trip to Arsenal.
"Making changes is the only option I've got. After Arsenal, we play again on Tuesday and then Friday so I have to make sure we're fresh enough to compete in those games as well," the boss confirmed.
Bruce added that the game will come too early for goalkeeper Dusan Kuciak, who also joined the club on deadline day. Furthermore, Chuba Akpom and Isaac Hayden are unable to face their parent club.
"[Kuciak] hasn't played for six weeks because of the winter break over in Poland where he was playing," added Bruce. "We could do with a game behind closed doors for him, although he may possibly make the bench at the weekend."