Theo Walcott will start for Arsenal against Hull City in the FA Cup third round today, a year to the day since he ruptured his cruciate ligaments against Tottenham Hotspur in the same competition.
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It will be Walcott’s first start since he was injured last January, having subsequently injured his groin training with England after his comeback. Arsene Wenger has named Joel Campbell. Hector Bellerin and reserve goalkeeper David Ospina in the team for the FA Cup holders, which has five changes from the side that lost 2-0 to Southampton.
In his programme notes, Wenger bemoaned the “self-inflicted” defeat to Southampton. He wrote: “I felt we were in control of the match in the beginning but the result was self-inflicted. We started comfortably compared to our meeting there last year where we drew 2-2. It was a game where we were thinking we would win but we paid for the lapses of focus in vital area.
“We were unfortunate when Southampton scored, but we couldn’t take our chances. On top of that, we not only couldn’t take them but we gave them opportunities, and that is too much at our level. I was disappointed because there was at least a draw in the game and if we were better defensively we could have won it. We gave a lot and their goalkeeper kept them in the game.
“We made the mistakes at the back that we were punished for. I cannot fault the attitude of the team but we were again haunted by the ghost of what we have seen since the start of the season.”
Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Chambers, Mertesacker, Monreal, Coquelin, Rosicky, Cazorla, Walcott, Campbell, Sanchez.
Hull: Harper; McShane, Davies, Maguire, Figueroa; Huddlestone, Quinn, Ince, Brady; Aluko, Sagbo.Reuse content