Leicester City vs. Arsenal: Team News, Lineups, Preview, Facts & Prediction

The Leicester City management must have cursed the computerised system after they received their Premier League schedule. If being a promoted team was not enough, they have been saddled with the biggest teams to kick start their campaign. They have lacked the gameplay to challenge their oppositions so far, although full marks have to be awarded for their gumption and their effort, so far. The manager Nigel Pearson must be twiddling his thumbs in anticipation of when this phase will end, and more importantly, if he will still be Leicester’s manager at the end of this torrid phase.

Arsenal, on the other hand, are facing a recurring problem: injuries to players in key positions, with no like-for-like replacement. If Wenger thought he could strengthen his midfield, his defence and attack have fallen prey to injuries. No Olivier Giroud means that they lack an out-and-out striker, as Yaya Sanogo and Joel Campbell are fairly untested in the Premier League. Lukas Podolski or Alexis Sanchez, the other possible replacements are better on the wings, and it would be unfair to expect them to keep on playing in the centre, considering that Giroud may be out until the New Year. Names have been dropped, but Wenger’s wizardry at snapping up the correct player at the right cost will be essential.

Leicester will be desperate to get their campaign off the mark. They have made a record purchase in the form of Leonardo Ochoa and have looked good in both of their opening games. They stretched Everton to a draw and they lost to Chelsea, even though they fought hard. Arsenal have performed in both of their opening games, even if their strikers have frozen in front of goal in scoring situations. They will look to avoid that tendency over the course of the season, and a possible move for Loic Remy would push Giroud to fight for his first-team place, because he will find himself sidelined if he doesn’t pull his socks up when he returns from injury.

Arsenal would want a win to make the most of City’s slip-up and gain some ground in the League standings. Leicester need a win to show that they can take on the giants and that they deserve to be in the League. A draw or a loss will be detrimental to Arsenal’s hopes, early in the season.

Possible Lineups:

Leicester (4-4-2): Schmeichel – De Laet, Morgan, Moore, Konchesky – Mahrez, Drinkwater, King, Albrighton – Ulloa, Nugent

Arsenal (4-1-4-1): Szczesny – Debuchy, Mertesacker, Chambers, Gibbs – Flamini – Ramsey, Özil/Podolski, Sanchez – Sanogo

Leicester v. Arsenal – Key Duels:

Ochoa v. Mertesacker – The pressure will be on Ochoa to grab at least a goal for Leicester, while the onus will be on Arsenal’s defence to stop him from scoring. Mertesacker or Koscielny, whichever of them plays, will have to keep him under control.

Ramsey v. Morgan/Konchesky – If Ramsey plays on the right with Özil through the centre, he will have to beat Konchesky and find acres of space so that he can assist the striker or cut inwards and score himself. If he plays through the centre with Sanchez on the right and Podolski on the left, he will have to dictate play and be the focus of the midfield, as he has the attributes to play that role for Arsenal.

Leicester v. Arsenal Match Facts:

  • Leicester won their first Premier League home game against Arsenal (2-1 in November 1994) but none of the subsequent seven games saw them claim three points.
  • The last time Arsenal played Leicester was the 38th and final game of the unbeaten 2003-04 Premier League campaign.
  • Leicester’s players to have featured so far have a combined total of 550 Premier League appearances, fewer than any other team this season.
  • Mesut Ozil has assisted only one goal in his last nine Premier League games.
  • David Nugent has not scored a Premier League goal since playing for Burnleyin 2009-10. His last effort came in March 2010.
  • Leicester have scored at least once in each of their last 16 league games at home.
  • Arsenal have scored at least two goals in their last three Premier League away games.

Facts compiled from au.eurosport.com

Prediction:

A 2-0 win for the travelling side.

 

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