Jamie Vardy has an excellent record against Arsenal. Eight goals in eight starts including three braces, which indicates that Vardy enjoys dining at the Gunners table. Vardy’s appetite against Arsenal’s flimsy defence is endless and it’s highly likely he will be a thorn in Unai Emery’s side at the King Power stadium.
Brendan Rodgers has managed to get the best out of the former Arsenal target (19 goals in just 21 games), something Claude Puelle was unable to do. There were obvious tensions between the pair and Vardy spent time on the bench but you sensed at the time that if it came to a straight choice, Puelle might not remain in his role and that’s exactly what happened.
Brendan Rodgers has now got himself an exceptional team, full of flair and desire, and the Foxes will be looking to continue their impressive run of form by gathering another three points from a relatively easy target.
Vardy (32) has always relished playing in the big games against top opposition and has netted 34 goals, but Arsenal head the top of the list. Arsenal (8) Liverpool (7) Manchester United (5) Manchester City (5) Spurs (5) Chelsea (4) none of which bodes well for Arsenal’s coach, who is under phenomenal pressure at present.
In the minds of many observers, a heavy defeat may be enough to cost Emery his job after a series of lifeless contests and woeful results. Some think that will happen at the end of the season, but it’s thought that the Arsenal board may have to act sooner if they are to secure a Champions League slot.
A Leicester win will put them 9 points ahead of the North London club and although it’s recoverable, the longer the dip in form continues, the less likely they are to get back on terms.
Vardy will almost certainly grab a goal or two with his ability to race in behind defenders and Arsenal have little resistance to this type of aggressive style and pace.
Since Brendan Rodgers arrival, he has utilised the striker’s skills and ensured the team accommodate him as often as possible, which has resulted in him becoming the Premier League’s top scorer with 10 plus one assist.
“I have worked closely with Jamie for some time now and there’s not many in world football you would swap him for.”
“He’s just got this incredible knack in terms of pressing the game and reading the game, and tactically he is so good.”
“He has that hunger and that appetite, desire and speed to get in behind and stretch the game and score. I like that kind of striker.”
“At this level, in the most competitive league in the world, he is right up there with the elite strikers in the world and I am very fortunate to have him.”
When Arsenal were looking to sign Vardy, Martin Keown said:
“ He’s (Vardy) someone who likes to run behind a defence – then if you feed him he’s a real handful and as good as anyone”
But it’s not all about Vardy, they also have Wilfred Ndidi, James Madison, Youri Tielemans, Ayoze Pérez, Ben Chilwell, Dennis Praet and Harvely Barnes who are more than a match for Arsenal and it’s no surprise they currently sit third in the Premier League.
Ex-Arsenal striker and TV pundit Charlie Nicholas said as much in his assessment of the Leicester Vs Arsenal clash:
“It is a very good Leicester team at the moment. Brendan Rodgers has earned the praise. Jamie Vardy’s goalscoring level has returned and James Maddison has been great, not to mention everybody else playing their part.”
“This Leicester side are much better to watch than the title-winning side. They have pace, balance and are technically very good – you can get at them defensively in my mind but they are a decent force with pace and movement in the attacking half. Arsenal do not know how to handle that and cannot defend.””
“Leicester have too much of this for my liking.”
Now on to predictions. It’s not going to make a good viewing I’m afraid and based on recent form, it’s a Leicester win 4-2.
Leno, Bellerin, Sokratis, Luiz, Tierney, Torriera, Guendouzi, Pepe, Ozil, Aubameyang and Lacazette.
Leno, Chambers, Sokratis, Luiz, Kolasinac, Guendouzi, Willock, Pepe, Ozil, Aubameyang and Lacazette.