Arsenal v Leicester City
EPL Match Preview
After last week’s amazing win at the Etihad Stadium against Manchester City, table toppers Leicester City travel to the capital to face third-placed Arsenal on Sunday lunchtime.
GUNNERS GET BACK TO WINNING WAYS AT BOURNEMOUTH
After four league games without a win, Arsenal brushed aside Bournemouth last weekend on the south-coast to keep the title hopes alive. Now they need to get back to winning ways at the Emirates Stadium where they have not won for over a month, in what is their most important league game of the season so far, against a team that they have tended to do very well against. The key player for coach Arsene Wenger is his German midfielder Mezut Ozil, who is king of the assists this season. The 16 that he has provided so far this campaign, is just four short of the clubs all-time record of 20, set by Thierry Henry in the 2002-03 season and with 13 games still to play, it’s surely a question of when rather than if, he takes it. Another plus for the Gunners is the return to goalscoring for England international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who netted for the first time this campaign in last weekend’s win. He is currently priced at *4.00 on the best football betting sites to double his tally for the season on Sunday.
FOXES GIVE CITY A REALITY CHECK
It wasn’t the fact that they beat Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium last weekend that surprised many people; it was the way Leicester City dismantled their more illustrious rivals, in what was billed as a potential title showdown. The sheer brilliance shown by Claudio Ranieri’s men in their 3-1 win left the football world stunned and made Leicester City favourites to win the league for the first time this season. Two goals by big German defender Robert Huth (currently priced at *10.00 on the betting exchanges to be on the scoresheet again on Sunday) and a classy Riyad Mahrez strike sandwiched in-between, has finally silenced any doubters that this team are there for the long haul. Now for the second weekend in succession, they have a chance to put some distance between themselves and another of their title rivals.
There are no new injury worries for the Gunners ahead of the visit of the league-leaders. Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky remain long-term absentees and Santi Cazorla is still not back to full-fitness. Gabriel will probably get the managers vote in the centre of defence over Per Mertesacker. Francis Coquelin could also return to the midfield at the expense of Mathieu Flamini.
Claudio Ranieri’s team has a clean bill of health and he is expected to stick with the same XI that destroyed Manchester City last weekend.
Arsenal (from) Cech, Monreal, Koscielny, Gabriel, Bellerin, Gibbs, Ospina, Ramsey, Flamini, Coquelin, Mertesacker, Campbell, Walcott, Iwobi, Sanchez, Ozil, Giroud, Oxlade-Chamberlain
Leicester City (from) Schmeichel, Huth, Simpson, Fuchs, Morgan, Mahrez, Albrighton, Kante, Drinkwater, Vardy, Okazaki, Ulloa, Schwarzer, Wasilewski, Chilwell, Gray, King, Dyer
HEAD TO HEAD
Arsenal have never lost to Leicester City in the Premier League era having won 12 and drawn six of their previous 18 encounters. The Gunners have also won their last eight home games against the Foxes. Last season’s corresponding fixture ended in a 2-1 defeat for Leicester City, leaving them five points from safety. Arsenal’s 5-2 victory at the King Power Stadium in the reverse fixture in September remains Leicester’s only home defeat of the season.
Arsenal 1.75 Draw 4.00 Leicester City 5.00
*odds courtesy of Bet365