Arsenal v. Leicester, Match Preview, Fans View, Who’s in, Who’s out

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A new and difficult game away at The Emirates, not a favorite place for Leicester City at all. The last time we had a win away to The Gunners is as far back as the 8th September 1973, a great 2-0 win, goals from Stringfellow and Glover. You start to go nostalgic, 45 years ago, since Leicester City last had a taste of a win away.

But tradition is something, breaking it would have been fun, but can’t really see it happen, sorry. With problems in the back, not a settled defense and a few players in doubt, this looks tricky.

Arsenal have lately been in great form and their new manager Unai Emery looks as one who knows his trade and how to get this Arsenal team in shape. A difficult start has been turned into a good run, at the moment 4th in the PL table.

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You have a group of players who are starting to gel with their new signings in the summer, Sokratis, Torreira and Guendouzi all making great progress. Two other players Leno and Lichtsteiner who are also new, has not featured much.

A few injury worries in the Arsenal camp might be the hope Leicester City have. The fact that key players such as Sokratis, Cech, Koscielny, Maitland-Niles and Welbeck all are doubtful will stress Arsenal. Sokratis will definitely be missing, the rest face late fitness tests to see if they can be available.

Leno is the one believed to be in goal, a good goalkeeper who is real competitor to Cech for the job permanently. Holding will play with Mustafi in the middle. Monreal and Bellerin looks like the players to cover the back four positions.

How they will settle in midfield and up front is not easy to say, but a mix of Ozil, Aubemayang, Lacazette, Xhaka, Torreira and Iwobi is among the suggestions. Guendouzi would be in contention, so could Aaron Ramsey be.

There are no one suspended players at Arsenal, Leicester City will be without Wes Morgan, who is suspended for two games after being sent off against Everton.

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Leicester City are constantly in struggle to find a balance in their team, specially not being able to get things correctly from start, easily being a goal down after few minutes. This is surely something Leicester City must be eager to correct against Arsenal.

Mendy and Ndidi are players who like to keep possession and not really playing through those fantastic passes that Leicester City were used to with Danny Drinkwater in their middle and James Maddison is a real key now.

To get the ball forward to Maddison and from him being able to get the right passes to Vardy will be a crucial link. The question is, will Puel this time sacrifice Iheanacho to play Maddison in his preferred role just behind Vardy.

Again a question to ask, will Puel give the new man from Freiburg, Caglar Soyuncu his debut against Arsenal, hardly from start, seeing Jonny Evans replacing Wes Morgan.

Referee,
Andre Marriner, will be in charge at King Power

Last Meeting, 11 v. 11
Home: 09.05.18, 3-1, Win, Premier League
Away: 11.08.17, 3-4, Defeat, Premier League

Best Bet,
Our prediction is a 1-1 draw, this is more of a hope than really a best bet

Predicted Leicester City line-up,
System: 4-4-1-1, Schmeichel – Amartey, Maguire, Evans, Chilwell – Ndidi, Mendy, Pereira, Albrighton – Maddison – Vardy

Fun Fact,
We go all the way back to that game in 1973. Len Glover and Mike Stringfellow scored the goals. Leicester were 4th in the table after that match, and the team had no new signings. Frank Worthington was the last one of the lot to be signed a year before in August 1972. Four of the players were from the youth system at the club, Graham Cross, Steve Whitworth, Peter Shilton and Malcolm Munro. Five players, Birchenall, Weller, Glover, Rofe and Sammels were all signings from London based clubs. One of the goalscorer’s Mike Stringfellow was signed from Mansfield 11 years before, in 1962. Cross, Glover and Shilton were three others who had been at the club from the mid and early 60’s. In that season, Leicester City also won the game at home 2-0, taking place as early as December that same year.

In Both Camps,
A number of players have a life in both camps. Jon Sammels was among those in the last winning team who was signed from Arsenal for a fee of £ 100 000 two years prior to the great 2-0 away win at Highbury. Jeff Blockley, Eddie Kelly and George Armstrong all featured for Arsenal in the game as well, and they were later transferred to Leicester City all three of them. Blockley moving to Leicester City in 1975 for a fee of £100 000, Kelly and Armstrong both signed for Leicester City under the management of Frank McLintock. Armstrong had a short lived period, while Kelly stayed on and became a very important player for Leicester City in the later promotions from the 2nd tier.

Later we have seen other players also going in both directions, but the only player to actually have moved from Leicester City to Arsenal is Alan Smith. Smith joined and rejoined Leicester City on loan in 1987, just two years later he had made his England debut and won the league with Arsenal. Other names to mention are, Martin Keown, Paul Dickov, Kevin Campbell, Ignasi Miquel and of course Frank McLintock, winning “The Double” with Arsenal and playing in to FA Cup finals with Leicester City.

The big duel,
Vardy v. Mustafi, both will be crucial for their teams in this game, and with the pace of Vardy we believe that he will be a handful for the Arsenal defense.

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