After six games, Leicester City sit fourth in the table with a tally of 12 points and still unbeaten. Who would have thought it? The Foxes’ stunning start to the season has not just been about luck. They have played some amazing football, coming from behind thrice in their last three games, winning one and drawing twice.
“My team is like the RAF. It is fantastic. I love it!”
… says Claudio Ranieri as they welcome Arsenal to the King Power Stadium. Leicester are a supreme counter-attacking team, only holding onto the ball 40.22 per cent of the time in matches (the third lowest total in the division).
Arsenal on the other hand, have had an up and down start to the season just like they always do. Fresh from the ‘unlucky’ defeat at Chelsea, Arsene Wenger’s side will look to get their season back on track with a win at Leicester but it’s always easier said than done. The teams drew 1-1 in their last corresponding meeting and Arsenal just edged it 2-1 at the Emirates.
- Only once in the 18 Barclays Premier League meetings between these two sides have Arsenal failed to score against Leicester City.
- Leicester have not beaten Arsenal since their debut BPL season in 1994/95 (W1 D6 L11).
- The Foxes have won as many points in their last 15 top-flight matches (34 – W10 D4 L1) as they had in their previous 48 matches in the competition before this run (34 – W6 D16 L26).
- This match pits the team with the highest proportion of long passes in 2015/16, Leicester (21.3%), against the team with the lowest proportion, Arsenal (7.4%).
Leicester will be without young midfielder Matty James as he hopes to return from an ACL injury sustained back in May. Nathan Dyer took a knock last week but, he’ll be hoping to be fit for the clash against Arsenal.
Arsenal will be without key midfielder Francis Coquelin who suffered a knee injury last week as well as the usual suspects Thomas Rosicky, Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere for this game.
LAST 5 MEETINGS
10/02/2015 Arsenal 2 – 1 Leicester City (Premier League)
31/08/2014 Leicester City 1 – 1 Arsenal (Premier League)
15/05/2004 Arsenal 2 – 1 Leicester City (Premier League)
06/12/2003 Leicester City 1 – 1 Arsenal (Premier League)
23/01/2002 Leicester City 1 – 3 Arsenal (Premier League)
Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City)
Mahrez is having one of those seasons where everything he touches turns to goals. His stunning performances even caught the eye of Spanish giants Barcelona as they looked at him to replace the departed Pedro. Mahrez adds quality with his mesmeric control and ability to dribble and swerve at acute angles. The Algerian has scored four goals and assisted two.
‘He is unbelievable. Just like the Roadrunner . . . beep, beep and then whoosh! He’s gone. At the moment everything he touches is gold. He is a diamond but he still has rough edges, which need polishing.’
…beamed his manager. Both he and his manager would be licking their lips at the prospect of playing Arsenal, especially when they’re in such fine form as they look to continue their fine start to their season.
Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)
The German magician has been getting better as each season passes. Though he struggled initially after joining the gunners two years ago, he’s since adapted well to the Premier league. He’s made two assists already this season with a passing accuracy of 89.2 percent. Leicester’s fine start to the league means he has to be on top of his game if Arsenal are to produce a match winning performance. Arsenal have been struggling for goals recently but Ozil could be the key to unlock the Leicester defence regardless of who plays up front.
I simply don’t see Leicester losing this one.
Leicester 2-1 Arsenal
Bet365 – Leicester are 16/5 to win.
William Hill – Arsenal 3/1 to win.
Bet365 – 4/5 for a draw.