Victorious Foxhunt On The Cards For The GunnersStats
Leicester v Arsenal
Arsenal travel to Leicester for Sunday’s 4pm kick-off. Can The Foxes come back from their capital One Cup defeat to Shrewsbury?
Leicester dominated the Championship last year, but a quick return to the second tier is likely for a squad badly lacking in Premier League experience. They fought hard to earn a draw against Everton in their opener, but were worn down by Chelsea in their second Premier League game and the lack of depth in their squad was illustrated by their midweek Capital One Cup defeat to lowly Shrewsbury.
Two pieces of silverware and the signing of Alexis Sanchez have quietened some of Arsene Wenger’s opponents in the last three months,
…and they have made a reasonably solid start to their season. They beat Crystal Palace first up, showed character to salvage a late point against Everton and on Wednesday edged out Besiktas to qualify for the Champions League once again.
On Tuesday, Nigel Pearson made eight changes from the side that played Chelsea and is likely to shuffle the pack once more, with his son James and fellow under-21 players Michael Cain and Ryan Watson likely to drop out. Danny Drinkwater, Dean Hammond and Jamie Vardy should all be available, and Scottish international James McArthur, who signed from Wigan on Wednesday, may get a start.
Arsenal had little luck with injuries last year and the new season is already offering more of the same. Olivier Giroud has suffered a suspected broken ankle and Theo Walcott is still out, along with Mikel Arteta and Kieran Gibbs. They still have plenty of attacking options though, with Sanchez likely to start up front, and Aaron Ramsey will be back to give the side plenty of drive from midfield.
It’s been a little over ten years since Leicester last played Arsenal, but you have to go back another decade to find their last victory over the Gunners, a 2-1 victory at Filbert Street, that was settled by a David Seaman own goal.
In their 17 meetings in all competitions since then, Leicester have managed seven draws and ten defeats, including three by four goals or more.
The Foxes may take some comfort from their last home fixture against Arsenal at the Walkers Stadium in December 2003. Arsenal led after an hour, but had Ashley Cole sent off and Craig Hignett salvaged a draw in the last minute.
Arsenal’s defensive weaknesses against the better teams has already been on display in their draw with Everton, but the shaky back four should have an easier time of it at the King Power Stadium on Monday.
Like Arsenal, the Foxes play a high tempo passing style, and the visitors will prefer to encounter that kind of game-plan than something more direct. I expect Leicester to battle hard, and Arsenal are not yet firing on all cylinders, so a narrow win is the sensible bet. Back Arsenal By Exactly 1 Goal in the Winning Margin market at 13/5.