The Gunners are hosting the Arsenal vs Leicester fixture at the Emirates tonight. Arsenal ride on the back of four back-to-back wins including a FA Cup win against Sheffield United and perhaps, the best form in the entire season. Arsenal will be boasting confidence after a surprising 2-0 away win against Wolves this week.
Arsenal have managed to get some semblance of form at just the right time with Mikel Arteta changing the shape and formation to get the best out of his available players. Through a process of elimination, he has gone with a back three and pushed his wing-backs forward to provide a supply line to his strikers.
I don’t expect him to stray far from his recent choices, with time in short supply and the games coming thick and fast. However, he might employ a slight change in personnel to keep it fresh and less predictable against the Foxes.
Arteta faces a Leicester side that have recently suffered a blip but, don’t let that fool you in the final analysis because Rogers likes to turn over the big boys. After thumping Aston Villa in March, they’ve since had draws against Watford and Brighton and lost to Chelsea and Everton. They’ve subsequently put that right with a handsome 3-0 win over Crystal Palace which included a Vardy brace.
It goes without saying that Vardy is the main threat to a back three that isn’t exactly a perfect fit. Mustafi, Kolasinac, and Luiz have survived in recent games, but Holding might make the cut this time at the expense of the Bosnian. This would just be to have a third recognised CB in the line-up. Moreover with Aubameyang and Vardy right at each others throats in the golden boot race and major bookies and online casino themselves unable to offer any significant difference in odds, Arsenal need to give Aubameyang the only advantage they can by assuring a clear clean sheet in this game.
There’s an argument for a back four that relies on counters but that could easily go wrong if Vardy gets behind, which he tends to. Emiliano Martinez will hopefully hold the Leicester striker at bay after performing exceptionally well in Leno’s absence but the threat could come from elsewhere if Arsenal obsesses solely on the former Arsenal target.
I can’t see anyone other than Ceballos and Xhaka for the middle with Tierney and Soares on the flanks. Aubameyang will again get two strike partners but this time, it may be Pepe that joins Saka. Nketiah has done well but Arteta needs three points desperately and Pepe may just offer another option to keep Roger’s men busy.
If Pepe is available and involved, he needs a decent game here to keep him in the reckoning and it’s the type of game that prints favourable headlines. The Arsenal vs Leicester tie is another game that will show how much Arsenal have grown in recent weeks with a combination of disciplined, if not exhilarating performances that could make a Europa League slot appear a little more realistic.
Preferred Side for the Arsenal vs Leicester Game: Martinez; Mustafi, Luiz, Holding, Soares; Xhaka, Ceballos, Tierney, Pepe, Saka; Aubameyang.
Predicted Scoreline: 2-1 Arsenal win.
Key players for Arsenal: Martinez, Ceballos, and Aubameyang.
Key players for Leicester: Vardy, Iheanacho, Maddison, and Chilwell.