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Sunday 17 December 2017

Bruce wants to go one better against Arsenal

Hull manager Steve Bruce hopes to relive the club's "greatest day" when they visit Arsenal today, but is hoping to leave with a different result.

Their last game against Arsene Wenger's side was the FA Cup final in May, Hull's first ever appearance on that stage and arguably the grandest occasion in the Tigers' history.

They did not disappoint on the day, taking a dramatic two-goal lead inside just eight minutes at Wembley before the Gunners reeled them back in and sealed a 3-2 win through Aaron Ramsey's extra-time winner.

Anyone associated with Hull would be forgiven for reminiscing about the cup run and the thrilling showpiece as they make their way back to London, Bruce included.

"The last time we played against them it was the cup final...it was the greatest day for a lot of people," he said.

"The final was a marvellous occasion for everybody. We played to our maximum and it was extra-time before we lost.

"Everyone had a wonderful day but we lost and it could have been so much more. We were close to pulling off one of the big shocks in an FA Cup final but it didn't quite happen.

"To go 2-0 up in a cup final was quite remarkable but we just ran out of a little steam. We gave a hell of an account of ourselves and if we can repeat that on Saturday that will be great.

"If we do and we're not quite good enough again, fine."

Bruce has few obvious injury concerns heading into the match, with goalkeeper Allan McGregor and long-term absentee Robert Snodgrass the only players left in the treatment room.

But he faces a balancing act managing a squad that has clocked up plenty of air miles during international week.

Mohamed Diame (left), already a key player following three goals in his first four games for the club, played for Senegal in Tunisia on Wednesday and was scheduled to return to England just 24 hours before the Arsenal match, while Sone Aluko also had a short turnaround following Nigeria duty.

Bruce will be sorely tempted to use Diame if at all possible, but admitted to erring in his use of Uruguay striker Abel Hernandez last month.

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