Almost three years ago if you would have told someone that Leicester City will fight for a Champions League spot and Arsenal will fight for a Europa League spot, people would have laughed at you. However this the reality we are living in right now. The Foxes under Brendon Rodgers have managed to turn their fortunes around, while Arsenal under Arteta are still trying to figure things out.
Leicester City will welcome the Gunners at home as they look to solidly their place in the top four. Bredon Rodgers team will be looking to bounce back from their Europa League exit. As for Arsenal, it will be another big test for them. They narrowly managed to beat Benefica and qualify for the Round of 16 in their previous game.
If the present situation is kept in mind, Arsenal will be happy even if they get away with a point. But for the Foxes, nothing less than a win would be acceptable. Both their rivals Chelsea and Manchester United will also keep an eye on this game.
A win for Leicester City will mean that the game at Stamford Bridge will be a must-win for both Chelsea and the Red Devils. However, if Arsenal are to win this one, the Blues will feel more pressure as it will cut the gap between the two to just five points.
Analysis: Leicester City vs Arsenal
If we go by recent history, the Foxes have a very good record against the Gunners. In the past six games against Arsenal, they have won four, drawn once, and lost once. Also at home, Brendon Rodgers’s team has won their previous two games against Arsenal, in which they have received 2 red cards and scored one goal.
We have already seen how Mikel Arteta likes to set up his teams against top opposition. It is likely that he will again like to park the bus and let the Foxes run the game. On the other hand, Leicester City would also want the same thing to happen.
They are at their best when Vardy is able to run in behind the defense. The pacey forward will cause a lot of trouble to the Arsenal defense. Mikel Arteta will also want his team to replicate the same thing so that Aubameyang can run in behind Leicester’s defense.
While both teams want to exploit the space in behind defence, it is likely that the Foxes will have to take the game to Arsenal. The Gunners are the away team and they will be happy to sit back and let Leicester take the possession. On paper, it looks like a goal likely to come through a counter-attack or a defensive slip-up.
Team News and Injury Update
Bredon Rodgers will be without James Maddison, Dennis Praet, Wesly Fofana, James Justin, Ayoze Perez, and Wes Morgan. All they have been sidelined due to injuries.
Mikel Arteta has a fully fit squad and their are no injury concers for the Gunners.
Leicester City: Kasper Schmeichel; Luke Thomas, Caglar Soyuncu, Jonny Evans, Ricardo Pereira; Wilfred Ndidi, Nampalys Mendy; Harvey Barnes, Youri Tielemans, Timothy Castagne; Jamie Vardy.
Arsenal: Bernd Leno; Kieran Tierney, Gabriel, David Luiz, Hector Bellerin; Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey; Emile Smith-Rowe, Martin Odegaard, Nicolas Pepe; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.