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Rupert Wyman 12th Mar 2010 - 15:54

Barmby had a Barney!

Hull's efforts to pull away from the relegation zone have been threatened by an altercation between Hull City's midfield stalwart Nick Barmby and their star player Jimmy Bullard.

Hull have won only once in their last fifteen league matches and are on a three game losing streak. So, a bout of in-fighting can only add to Brown's woes.

Brown has dealt with the incident in-house, and with the recent furore in the media concerning Andy Cole and Teddy Sheringham's relationship at United, Brown will be hoping that their personal issues can be rectified.

Both sides need to win for very different reasons. At Arsenal there has been a renaissance of late and they now have their name in the quarter-final draw next week for the Champions League, so now they can concentrate on sustaining their push to win the league.

It is unlikely that another inevitable wave of media support from Real Madrid in favour of instating Wenger as Real manager can effect team morale. Although if I was Fabregas or Clichy, a trip to glitzy Madrid and a possible Champions League final this season, or wearing the white of Real under Wenger in the future may be a tad more exciting than a visit to Hull.

The Tigers were torn apart at Everton last weekend, they are fortuitous that they are just one of several teams with indifferent form at the wrong end of the table, in a relegation dog fight that can go right to the wire!

There is enough at stake in this fixture to add to previous bad blood that has been stoked up between these sides during recent seasons. Both clubs were fined for failing to control their players during the reverse fixture just before Christmas.

For Hull, Stephen Hunt may postpone an operation until after Hull's fate is sealed at the end of the season, and he will be tested pre match.

Anthony Gardner has been ruled out for six weeks with ankle ligament damage but Fagan is available after suspension.

Arsenal's Sagna is a doubt, and Captain Cesc Fabregas is definitely unavailable. Tomas Rosicky will have a late fitness test on his groin problem.

With Chelsea likely to beat the Hammers at home, I would back the Arsenal/Arsenal double result at 19/20, I can see no other outcome than an emphatic walkover for Arsenal, who can step up their game when necessary. Although Wenger's Arsenal struggled against the power of Chelsea, Arsenal have the skill and precision necessary to pounce on Hull's regular defensive mishaps.

For another flutter, I fancy the 23/20 currently on offer for Arsenal to score between the 76th minute and full time. Arsenal have scored four goals in the 90th minute or later in their last three Premier league matches.

It is now squeaky bum time at the KC stadium, Hull have ten Premier League games left this season and Brown realistically has to win three of these games to stay in the league. Can he somehow conjure Hull City's Premier League survival or are they Brown bread!



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