Hull City will be looking for a second giant-killing in the space of four days when they travel to the Emirates to play Arsenal on Wednesday evening.
Steve Bruce's Hull (5-2-6) produced the shock result of the weekend with a 3-1 victory over Liverpool at the KC Stadium on Sunday. Those three points vaulted Hull into the top half of the Premier League, and with five wins already to their name, Bruce believes the Tigers have given themselves a good chance of avoiding relegation.
"It gives you a little bit of belief," said the Hull boss. "It's always hard when you bring a team out of the Championship. Some of these lads haven't really played in the Premier League, certainly they haven't played enough. This gives them that little bit of self-belief that they can play here, but every week we have got to be at our best.
"It doesn't give me any more delight that it's Liverpool, it's that we've got 17 points by December 1st. We've got five wins and we need another five to stay up I think. If we get another five...10, 11 wins is usually enough in my opinion. Other teams are the bottom have got a lot to do in terms of winning 10 games if they've only won one or two so far."
However, Hull will have to put in their best performance of the season if they are to make it back-to-back victories this week. Hosts Arsenal (10-1-2) are the form side in the division, have lost just one of their last 12 games and lead the Premier League by four points going into the latest round of matches.
Written out of the title race by many after an opening weekend defeat to Aston Villa, Arsene Wenger's side have responded with a sensational run of form, inspired by new signing Mesut Ozil and the transformation of Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey into a match-winning contributor. With two-thirds of the season remaining it is still too early to be reaching any title conclusions, but goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny believes the squad have shown enough to suggest that they can stay at the top for the rest of the campaign.
"We're in a position that we'd like to be in for as long as possible," said the ever-confident Pole. "But it really doesn't matter where we are now. It matters where we are in May, and if we carry on like we are now then I'm certain we'll be top in May.
"We have a lot of work to do, a lot of tough games to win. There's no point in putting pressure on ourselves. We just want to enjoy every single game. That's bringing the best out of us and I don't think that will change."
Ramsey, who has a team-best 13 goals across all competitions, scored twice in Saturday's 3-0 romp past Cardiff City while Ozil notched two assists, lifting his total to a team-high eight.
Arsenal are without the injured trio of Lukas Podolski (hamstring), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee) and Abou Diaby (knee), while Hull are expected to be missing Paul McShane (hamstring) along with Steven Quinn (hamstring), Curtis Davies (yellow card suspension) and Sone Aluko (calf).
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- Premier League
- Steve Bruce