Emirates Stadium, London
10th February 2015, 19:45 GMT
After the defeat to Tottenham that saw them drop down to 6th place, below Spurs, Arsenal welcomes Leicester City to the Emirates Stadium. After winning 5 games on the trot, the loss to Spurs not only put a halt to the win streak but also put a dent in the top 4 race for Arsenal. The gunners would want to get back to winning ways again as dropping any more points would be detrimental to their hope of Champions League for another season.
Leicester City will look back to their home game against Arsenal and try to at least come away with another draw to help their chances of survival in the Premier League for another year. However, taking points from Arsenal at home is a tough ask, but for Leicester to survive in the Premier League, every single point is of value.
Team News and Tactics
Back to back wins against opposition teams had given Arsenal a lot of confidence, but it wasn’t enough to beat their hated rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Manager Arsene Wenger will take the lessons from the defeat and tweak his tactics for games that is tough going for the team. Leicester could prove to be equally tough to break down, especially since they wouldn’t be as open as Aston Villa were. Arsenal would need all their attacking thrust to get all 3 points.
The gunners welcome back Alexis Sanchez into the squad, giving them back their most important player of the season so far. Alexis was sorely missed in the defeat to Spurs, and even though Welbeck, Ozil and Giroud did well in terms of providing attacking threat, Alexis would have made the difference and found the much needed goal for Arsenal. Apart from that, there are no new injuries. There was a worry that Giroud may have injured his ankle following challenges from Danny Rose, but he is in the squad too.
Arsene would likely go with a front 3 of Giroud, Alexis and Ozil, with Cazorla in the number 10 position, while brining in Rosicky in place of Ramsey, who did not have a particularly good game against Spurs. Ospina is likely to continue in goal, while Gabriel Paulista might finally get a debut and give some much needed rest to Laruent Koscielny.
Predicted Line Up: Ospina; Bellerin, Paulista, Mertesacker, Monreal; Coquelin, Rosicky; Alexis, Cazorla, Ozil; Giroud.
Leicester City have a big task on their hands, sitting rock bottom of the table. They have only managed 4 wins and 5 draws off the 24 games they have played, leaving them with only 17 points. Leicester had a good start to the season, but have fallen away as the season progressed. There were even rumours that manager Nigel Pearson would get the sack ahead of the game, but nothing has moved in that front.
Pearson has usually gone for a cautious 4-5-1 when playing difficult opposition, especially away from home, and that could well be the same formation that he starts with against Arsenal. However, his preferred formation is a 4-4-2 and the new acquisition Andrej Kramaric could start alongside Leonaro Ulloa. Pearson would be hoping Ulloa rediscovers his early season form, having scored the equaliser at home in the return fixture.
Jeffrey Sclupp has been another impressive player for Leicester and will be a threat down the left flank while the central midfielders would mostly concentrate on screening the defence rather than bombing forward to assist in the attack.
Predicted Line Up: Schwarzer; Laet, Wasilewski, Morgan, Simpson; Schlupp, James, Cambiasso, Mahrez; Ulloa, Kramaric.
- Arsenal have only lost once at home in 29 Premier League games
- Leicester have not won 17 of their last 19 games in the Premier League.
- Leicester have given away at least 2 goals in 7 of their last 8 EPL games.
Arsenal will want to brush away the defeat to Spurs and restore their confidence with an emphatic win over Leicester. With Alexis back in the team, their already threatening forward line would be even harder to deal with for Leicester’s defenders.
Predicted Score: Arsenal 2-0 Leicester City