Bruce backs Arsenal for the title
Hull boss Steve Bruce believes that Wednesday night's opponents Arsenal have what it takes to win the Barclays Premier League.
The Gunners are four points at clear ahead of the game at the Emirates and Bruce, who won the title three times while at Manchester United, is impressed with Arsene Wenger's side.
"Absolutely they can win the league," he said. "We're a third of the way through so why can't they? They'll be like anybody else, hoping their big players stay fit, but when you look at their squad they're a match for anybody.
"The problem with Arsenal is how do you set up against them? They're fluid in their movement and their interplay. They interchange positions.where does Jack Wilshere play? where does Mesut Ozil play?
"There's a freedom that makes it very, very difficult.
"Mr Wenger, who I've got the hugest respect for, has produced another fantastic football team who are going to be there or thereabouts and in (Aaron) Ramsey they've got the outstanding player in the Premier League."
It is a far cry from his appearances last season, which led to many question Wenger for offering the Wales international a new deal.
"At the time I had no doubt. I always felt he had a good attitude, good basic qualities and will come out of that bad patch in a strong way," he said.
"Don't get me wrong, I didn't predict he would score as many goals as that but I was always confident he would make a good career.
"When you are a midfielder you want to defend well, you want to attack well and you want to give assists and score goals. That is how good you can be.
"At the moment he does all of these four things very well and he can still improve."
An aspect of Arsenal's play which has also got better this season is at the back where Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker have impressed, meaning club captain Thomas Vermaelen has rarely started.
"It's tough to leave Vermaelen out because of his quality, his attitude and his influence at the club," the Frenchman said.
"It's a difficult decision to make because he is a top-class player.
"He certainly suffers but he handles it with great dignity and great professionalism.
"I'm not concerned that he might move in January because if he wants to do that he will come and see me, which he has not done."
James Chester has recovered from a hamstring injury and looks set to start for the visitors, while the north Londoners will be without Bacary Sagna, with Carl Jenkinson set to deputise.
Midfielders Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby remain sidelined with knee injuries.