With both teams losing their Premier League openers, neither Leicester City or Arsenal can afford another loss when the two sides meet this week.
Leicester were left stunned by newly-promoted Hull City while Arsenal are still reeling from Liverpool’s impressive attacking display in the second half of Sunday’s 4-3 defeat. Of course it's very early on in the season, but this a game neither side can afford to lose. Leicester only lost three times last season on the road to taking the title, two of those loses incidentally were against Arsenal including their only home defeat. Chelsea lost only three games the season before when they took the trophy, title winning teams do not lose many games. Two defeats in the first two weeks would not bode well for either club's title aspirations and would have been unthinkable pre-season. Arsenal has further troubles too with fans agitated by a lack of signings and Wengers managerial approach. A new centre-back signing is top of the fans wishlist, yet there has been no visible progress despite injuries to Gabriel and Per Mertesacker. To say fans are losing patience with Wenger is an understatement.
Both Vardy and playmaker Mahrez will start against Arsenal and a key talking point will be how they perform and compete against players that only weeks ago it was assumed would be their team mates this season. Both Okazaki and Huth are expected to return for Arsenal’s visit, though it remains to be seen whether Musa or young winger Demarai Gray will make way for the Japanese striker.
Leicester likely starting XI: Schmeichel; Simpson, Huth, Moran, Fuchs; Mahrez, King, Drinkwater, Gray; Okazaki, Vardy
Exepct big changes to the team that started against Hull last week with the return of Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny. Oxlade-Chamberlain may have have muscled himself into the starting 11 at the expense of Walcott after coming on against Liverpool with blistering pace and scoring within 5 minutes. New Summer signing Granit Xhaka is also likely to feature.
Arsenal likely starting XI: Cech; Bellerin, Chambers, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Xhaka; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud
This is setup to be a fascinating close fought encounter. Our verdict is Arsenal will just about edge it. Expect goals from both sides through Arsenals sheer firepower and the Foxes ability to break, despite the improved starting XI Arsenal still look shaky at the back. After the Hull performance, Leicester will need to find their pace and fast to have a chance of winning. Arsenal have never lost an away Premier League game to Leicester and for Wenger this is a record that must not be broken on Saturday.
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