Arsenal have only won once in their last five visits and the bad blood between the two sides stems from the infamous clash in 2010 when Aaron Ramsey's leg was shattered in a challenge from Ryan Shawcross.
Hughes said: "We're only able to continue that irritation if we play well.
"We are one of those teams he's had a problem with in the past and if he has unhappy memories of coming here we must have done something right."
But that doesn't disguise Hughes' sneaky regard for a Gunners side he sees being in the title shake-up right at the end.
Hughes added: "I think there are probably stronger candidates but they have maintained their challenge and they certainly have the ability.
"I didn't expect them to maintain it but perhaps it shouldn't surprise me because they have great ability."
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