Match Preview: Arsenal Vs Leicester City
Arsenal are set to host defending Champions Leicester City on Wednesday, as the Premier League season nears its end. The Gunners are currently placed 6th in the table, with Champions League qualification hopes still being alive.
Liverpool’s loss against Crystal Palace during the weekend would have given some massive hope for Arsene Wenger and after a disastrous run since the turn of the year, Arsenal seem to have found their long-lost confidence back, as they beat Manchester City in the FA Cup semifinal on Sunday.
The win will serve as a massive morale booster for the North Londoners, as they look to transfer it all to the Premier League as well.
Leicester City, on the other hand, find themselves out of relegation danger after some new-found freshness since the sacking of Claudio Ranieri. They progressed to the Champions League quarterfinals before eventually losing to Atletico Madrid. The Foxes have won 5 of their last 6 games in the league and that sees them at 15th place in the table, 6 points ahead of 18th placed Swansea, who have played two games more than Leicester.
There will be no shortage of confidence for the defending Champions and they will surely try and go for the kill.
There is concern about star man Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who picked up a knock in their FA Cup semifinal win over Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. He faces a late fitness test. Lucas Perez, Shkodran Mustafi and David Ospina are certain to miss the game, alongside Santi Cazorla, who has been ruled out for the season.
Captain Wes Morgan is out with a hamstring injury while Nampalys Mendy’s season is over following an ankle operation. Robert Huth is back after a Champions League ban, but Islam Slimani remains sidelined with a groin injury.
Arsenal – Cech; Gabriel, Koscielny, Holding; Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Monreal; Ozil, Sanchez; Welbeck.
Leicester City – Schmeichel; Simpson, Huth, Benalouane, Fuchs; Mahrez, Ndidi, Drinkwater, Albrighton; Okazaki, Vardy.
- Arsenal are unbeaten in 20 league games against Leicester (W14, D6), and have won three of the last four meetings.
- Arsenal have lost three of their last six Premier League matches (W2, D1).
- Leicester are on a 20 game winless run against Arsenal in the Premier League (D7 L13), with their only win against the Gunners coming in their first ever Premier League encounter in November 1994 (2-1 victory).
- If the Gunners beat the Foxes, it will equal their longest home winning streak against a single club (10 successive wins against Everton between Jan 1997 – Sept 2005).
- Vardy has scored seven goals in 10 competitive games for Leicester under Craig Shakespeare, this after netting seven goals in 32 games in 2016-17 under Claudio Ranieri for the Foxes.
- Alexis Sánchez has now scored 19 Premier League goals this season; equalling his best-ever tally in a single league season (19 with Barcelona in 2013-14).
- Jamie Vardy has scored Leicester City’s last three goals against Arsenal in the Premier League, scoring the opening goal twice. However, he is yet to end up on the winning side.
- The Gunners will be looking to win back-to-back Premier League matches for the first time in over three months (Jan 22nd 2017), following their 2-1 win at Middlesbrough in their previous game.
- Leicester City have scored at least two goals in every one of their seven Premier League matches under Craig Shakespeare (17 goals in total). Their previous 17 Premier League goals came over a period of 20 matches.
- Should Sánchez score another Premier League goal this season, he’ll be the fifth Arsenal player to score 20+ goals in a PL campaign after Thierry Henry (5 times), Ian Wright (2 times), Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor. Robin van Persie was the last to do this (30 goals in 2011-12).
Arsenal seem to have found their confidence back after their hard-fought victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup and Leicester have been in good for in recent weeks. It will be a tough game for sure.
Final Score: Arsenal 3-1 Leicester City