Arsenal will be looking to build on their current winning momentum when they host Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League this midweek.
Arsenal will be aiming to move into sixth place in the Premier League table when they lock horns against Leicester City at the Emirates on Matchday 34 this Tuesday night.
After a dismal start to the final phase of the campaign last month, Arsenal have turned things around in style, going on a four-game winning run across all competitions. Having defeated Wolves 2-0 away from home this past weekend, Mikel Arteta’s side moved to within three points of the Midlands outfit, who are sixth in the table.
A win on Tuesday, with a margin of two goals or more, could see the Gunners move past Wolves and strengthen their chances of securing European football for the next season. However, they will face a stern test from a Leicester City side that are battling to hold on to their third spot in the standings.
The Foxes struggled once football returned last month, failing to register a victory in their first four matches in all competitions. However, they were able to snap that poor run last weekend, beating Crystal Palace 3-0. With both Chelsea and Manchester United breathing down their necks, Brendan Rodgers & co. cannot afford a slip-up in the remaining matches.
The reverse fixture, played at the King Power Stadium in November last year, ended 2-0 in favour of Leicester, with goals coming from Jamie Vardy and James Maddison. And ahead of their latest meeting this midweek, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both the teams.
Team News & Tactics
Arsenal do not have any fresh injury concerns heading into the game against Leicester City. Calum Chambers, Pablo Mari, Gabriel Martinelli and Bernd Leno remain absent, while Mesut Ozil is a doubt due to a back injury. Nicolas Pepe missed the weekend game due to the birth of his child, but could be back for the contest against the Foxes.
While Arteta will want to stick together with the same team, he will also have an eye on the huge North London derby at the weekend, which could lead to a few alterations on Tuesday night. Emiliano Martinez, though, remains the obvious choice in goal in Leno’s absence, while the team will continue in a 3-4-3 formation in front of him.
Shkodran Mustafi has started every game since the resumption of the season and could do with a break, paving the way for Sokratis to start. David Luiz should continue at the heart of three-man backline, but Rob Holding could come in on the left, in place of Sead Kolasinac.
Hector Bellerin should return to the lineup at right wing-back, while Kieran Tierney should continue on the opposite side. Granit Xhaka has emerged as a leader on the field for Arsenal and should be retained in the middle of the park. He could have a change of partners though, with Joe Willock starting ahead of Dani Ceballos after a couple of impressive cameos.
Alexandre Lacazette scored a goal after coming on as a substitute last time out, which should earn him a starting berth on Tuesday. There is no looking past captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the left, while Bukayo Saka is likely to continue on the right, although Pepe would be a contender provided he is available for selection.
Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Martinez; Sokratis, Luiz, Holding; Bellerin, Willock, Xhaka, Tierney; Saka, Lacazette, Aubameyang
Brendan Rodgers will be sweating over the availability of two key players in James Maddison (groin) and Ben Chilwell (foot), with the duo set to undergo late fitness tests. Ayoze Perez, too, is a doubt due to an ankle issue, although he is expected to play some part against Arsenal. Ricardo Pereira and Daniel Amartey are ruled out.
Rodgers set out with a three-man backline in the previous game and is likely to continue with a similar setup against Arsenal, although there are likely to be a few personnel changes.
James Justin impressed starting as the right-sided centre-back and should form the three-man backline along with Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu. Marc Albrighton should get the nod as the right wing-back, while Harvey Barnes should start on the left, ahead of the ageing Christian Fuchs, in Chilwell’s potential absence.
Wilfred Ndidi should partner with Dennis Praet in the two-man central midfield unit. The former will be in charge of disrupting Arsenal’s rhythm, while the latter will be given the license to push forward and join attacks. With Perez and Maddison doubts, Youri Tielemans should move into the No. 10 role for the visitors.
Jamie Vardy, who scored his 100th Premier League goal in the last game, should pair up with Kelechi Iheanacho in attack once again.
Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Schmeichel; Justin, Evans, Soyuncu; Albrighton, Ndidi, Praet, Barnes; Tielemans; Vardy, Iheanacho
- Arsenal are unbeaten in 22 home league games against Leicester City (W19 D3), winning each of their last 12 in a row. Only against Stoke City (13 between 1983-2018) have they had a longer winning run at home against an opposition in the top-flight.
- Leicester City have won three of their last four league games against Arsenal (L1), as many as they had in their previous 36 against the Gunners (D10 L23). They are looking to win three consecutive league matches against Arsenal for the first time since 1963.
- Arsenal have won three consecutive Premier League games without conceding for the first time since November 2017. They last won four in a row without shipping in a goal back in May 2014.
- Leicester City won their first Premier League game since the restart last time out against Crystal Palace. They scored more goals in the win (3) than they had in their previous three league matches combined (2).
- Arsenal have come out on top in their last four Premier League matches, as many as they had in previous 14 at the Emirates (D6 L4).
Player to Watch
The Argentine goalkeeper has gotten a regular run of matches owing to the unfortunate injury to Bernd Leno last month. And it would be fair to say that Martinez has made the most of his opportunities of late. Having started the last three Premier League matches for the Gunners, the 27-year-old has managed to secure a clean sheet every time.
So far in his career, Martinez has kept a clean sheet in six of his eight Premier League starts (75%) – the best ratio of any Arsenal keeper in the competition (min. 5 starts). Coming up against a Leicester City side attack that has quality in abundance, Martinez once again needs to be at the top of his game if Arsenal are to continue their winning run.
Arsenal 2-1 Leicester City
Arsenal come into the game with momentum on their side, having bagged four wins in a row. Leicester City may have bagged a win last time out, but have been well below their best since the restart of the season.
It will be a tightly-fought contest, but given the Foxes’ past struggles at the Emirates and their recent performances, coupled with Arsenal’s new-found defensive solidity, The Hard Tackle predicts this one to end in another win for Mikel Arteta & co.