Arsenal host Leicester City in the Premier League this weekend with both sides hoping for an improvement after suffering defeats last weekend.
Here’s all you need to know about Sunday’s meeting at the Emirates:
Ever since Mikel Arteta walked through the door at the Emirates Arsenal have looked a renewed outfit, with the Gunners finally showing some defensive solidity that had seemed impossible to come by over the last decade.
The persistence with a 3-4-3 formation looks to have paid off as Arteta is seemingly able to get the best out of his exciting front three while also protecting a midfield and backline that has previously looked shaky. The addition of Thomas Partey should also serve to bolster the Spaniard’s options, with the Ghanaian potentially the calibre of player that has been missing from the club’s midfield in recent times.
There has been three relatively comfortable league wins so far this season, although there is still perhaps an inability to topple their rivals having lost to both Liverpool and Manchester City already this term, the latter result making it almost five years since the Gunners last recorded an away victory against another member of the ‘big six’.
The North London side also got their Europa League campaign up and running this week with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Rapid Vienna, with goals from David Luiz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang giving Arsenal victory after a Bernd Leno error had gifted the hosts a shock lead.
Having named a strong starting eleven in Vienna there may be worries over fitness for the clash with the Foxes just a few days away, while Willian and Dani Ceballos will both have to be assessed having missed Thursday’s clash.
One man who definitely won’t be lining up on Sunday is Mesut Ozil after the former Germany international was left out of his side’s 25-man Premier League squad despite being the club’s highest earner.
Leicester City: WWWLL
After three successive victories, Leicester were once again looking like a side who could well challenge for a top-four spot, yet the last two fixtures have seen the Foxes suffer two damaging defeats in games you would have fancied them to win.
First, there was a 3-0 home defeat to a resurgent West Ham United side, before Ross Barkley continued his fine form to snatch a last-gasp victory for Aston Villa at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.
Those sort of results have been an all too familiar tale for the Foxes in 2020, with Brendan Rodgers side missing out on what seemed certain Champions League qualification on the final day of the 2019/20 season.
On a more positive note, they are at least in the Europa League this term and began their journey with victory over Zorya Luhansk courtesy of an inspired display from Kelechi Iheanacho, despite being without main man Jamie Vardy.
Injuries have been the story of their season so far, yet Brendan Rodgers appears to face no fresh concerns for Sunday, although Caglar Soyuncu, Wilfried Ndidi and Ricardo Pereira remain sidelined.
Last Meeting – Leicester 2-0 Arsenal, EFL Cup, 23rd September 2020
The two sides have already met this season with the Gunners claiming victory in the EFL Cup Third-Round back in September.
Both manager’s made a number of changes for the meeting at the King Power, with Brendan Rodgers changing his entire starting XI. That raft of changes didn’t necessarily hinder the Foxes performance with James Maddison impressing, yet the home side were eventually undone by an unfortunate Christian Fuchs own goal after some fine work from Nicolas Pepe.
The Gunners sealed the win late on as young Eddie Nketiah showcased his predatory instincts to poke home and send Mikel Arteta’s side through to the next round.
Arsenal: Leno; Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney; Bellerin, Thomas, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles; Aubameyang, Lacazette, Pepe.
Leicester City: Schmeichel; Castagne, Fofana, Evans, Justin; Mendy, Perez, Maddison, Tielemans, Barnes; Iheanacho.
Who is the referee?
How can I watch?
UK and Irish readers can watch the game on Sky Sports Box Office.
What time is kick off?