Arsenal and Hull City meet at Wembley today with one club trying to win their first trophy in nine years and the other their first significant silverware ever. In other words, the outcome of the final at Wembley means everything to these sides.
It is of course the Gunners who are looking for a first trophy since 2005 when Patrick Vieira lifted the oldest club prize in the world. Since then, Arsene Wenger has overseen a barren run during which the pressure to end it has increased year-on-year. So immense is the expectation on Arsenal to win today that there are suggestions the French manager won’t extend his expiring contract and will walk away from the club if his side fail.
Hull City have never made it this far in the competition before but Steve Bruce will be hoping his side can upset the odds, just as Birmingham did when the Gunners were last in a major final at Wembley. Hull can also look to Wigan’s triumph over Manchester City last season for proof anything can happen and the arch of the national stadium.
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Hull 0 Arsenal 3 (Ramsey, Podolski 2), Premier League, April 2014
Arsenal 2 (Bendtner, Ozil) Hull 0, Premier League, December 2013
Hull 1 (Bullard) Arsenal 2 (Arshavin, Bendtner), Premier League, March 2010
Curtis Davies after scoring against Sunderland in the FA Cup quarter-finals
Hull last beat Arsenal in September 2008.
The sides have not drawn a match since 1930, a spell spanning 12 games.
Hull have beaten Arsenal just three times in the club’s history.
This will be Arsene Wenger’s sixth FA Cup final.
Arsenal will move equal with Manchester United’s record 11 FA Cup final wins with victory over Hull.
The last seven FA Cup finals have been won by a single goal.
Hull have won just three of their last 11 FA Cup meetings against teams from the same division.