Arsenal travel to King Power Stadium this Sunday as they look to redeem themselves in the Premier League against a formidable Leicester City side.
Arsenal will be aiming to put an end to their miserable run in the Premier League campaign when they visit King Power Stadium this weekend to lock horns with Leicester City on Matchday 26.
Leicester City will be heading into this tie after an agonising 2-0 defeat against Slavia Prague in their Round of 32 fixture of the UEFA Europa League. However, the Foxes have been mighty impressive in their league campaign this season and will be gunning to make a statement of intent on Sunday by bouncing back to winning ways.
Meanwhile, after a comeback victory against Benfica in their UEFA Europa League Round of 32 fixture, Arsenal will be hoping to maintain the rhythm for the upcoming games. More often than not, the Gunners have failed to find the element of consistency this term but will need to change that if they are to push for a European spot.
In the reverse fixture, Jamie Vardy’s sole strike was enough for the Foxes to beat the north London side at Emirates Stadium back in October. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over two sides ahead of this intriguing encounter at King Power Stadium this weekend.
Team News & Tactics
▪️ James Maddison
▪️ Ayoze Pérez
▪️ Wesley Fofana
▪️ Dennis Praet
— Leicester City (@LCFC) February 27, 2021
The Foxes will be missing a few significant players ahead of this crucial fixture this weekend. James Maddison will be unavailable as the player is suffering from a hip problem. Along with him, Wesley Fofana (hamstring), Ayoze Perez (knee), James Justin (Knee), Dennis Praet (hamstring) and Wes Morgan (back) will miss out as well.
However, Ricardo Pereira is likely to return to the first eleven along with Timothy Castagne and Harvey Barnes after three of them were featured only as substitutes in the previous fixture against Slavia Praha. Kasper Schmeichel will be the last line of defence, and he will need to be at his best to keep the Arsenal attackers at bay.
Leicester could switch to a three-man defensive unit of Daniel Amartey, Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu on Sunday, having beaten Arsenal with such a setup in the reverse fixture. This would provide them with added security at the back up against the lively attacking trio of Emile Smith Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe.
Wilfred Ndidi and Youri Tielemans should get the nod in midfield to hold the ford intact. Castagne will be placed on the left flank as the wing-back while Pereira should get the nod on the right. Both the players will act as key attacking outlets and try to make the most of any signs of fragility shown by the Gunners’ rearguard.
Marc Albrighton ought to slot in as the right-winger and look to find centre-forward, Jamie Vardy, with his accurate crosses. With Maddison unavailable, Harvey Barnes will need to shoulder extra creative responsibilities on Sunday.
Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Schmeichel; Amartey, Evans, Soyuncu; Pereira, Tielemans, Ndidi, Castagne; Albrighton, Barnes; Vardy
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta could breathe a sigh of relief, as his team are heading into this fixture with almost a full squad. Rob Holding remains the only player likely to excluded from the side after he picked up a head injury in the last Premier League game against Manchester City.
The Gunners will set up in 4-2-3-1 formation in front of Bernd Leno, who will be the undisputed starter between the sticks. In front of the German goalkeeper, David Luiz and Gabriel should form the centre-back pairing.
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) February 27, 2021
Hector Bellerin will slot in as the right-back and he should look to push forward on the right-side channel. On the other flank, Kieran Tierney will have a significant role to play, as his mobility and quality deliveries could pose a major threat to the hosts.
Granit Xhaka will be eyeing another promising outing having shown impressive control in recent games in midfield. Thomas Partey will be back in the first eleven alongside the Swiss international.
After an astonishing display in his last game against Benfica, Bukayo Saka might start from the bench this time, as the 20-year-old has played full ninety minutes on each of his previous seven starts. Nicolas Pepe will take his place on this tie, while Emile Smith Rowe ought to be placed as the left-winger.
Winter recruit Martin Odegaard will essay the role of the No.10 once again. Pierre-Emerick Aubamyang should lead the pack ahead of Alexandre Lacazette in the final third, where he will be desperate to replicate his performance of Thursday night.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Leno; Bellerin, Luiz Tierney, Gabriel, Tierney; Thomas, Xhaka; Pepe, Odegaard, Smith-Rowe, Aubameyang
1. Both Teams to Score – YES @ 1.75
1. Full-Time Result – Draw @ 3.40
- In their last 14 meetings, Arsenal hold the upper hand, as they’ve beaten Leicester City on 7 occasions while the Foxes came out on top just 4 times (D3).
- Arsenal have won just 2 games in their last 6 fixtures in the league (D1 L3). On the other hand, Leicester City have been victorious on 3 occasions in their last six outings (D2 L1).
- Leicester City have been going through an inconsistent patch on their home turf, as they’ve grabbed 19 points out of a possible 36. However, Arsenal have been quite poor in their away games, as they have only collected 16 points so far.
- Leicester City have grabbed 15 wins in 25 league games this term. Only Manchester City have managed more (19).
- Jamie Vardy has netted 12 goals so far, and along with 5 assists, he has showcased his creativity as well upfront.
Player to Watch
The former Lille forward has been squandering his opportunities on a regular basis ever since he arrived at Arsenal in a club-record deal a couple of years ago. While there have been glimpses of his ability every now and then, the Ivorian has struggled with a lack of consistency and hasn’t been able to showcase his reliability on most occasions.
With Pepe managing just 7 goals and 3 assists across all competitions this term, Mikel Arteta will be sweating over the form of his attacker. Sitting 11th in the table, Arsenal are desperate to redeem themselves, and to pull his team out of such a miserable state, the Ivorian international needs to step up and play a pivotal part in the proceedings.
Leicester City 1-1 Arsenal
After a daunting setback in their UEFA Europa League, Leicester City will be aiming to grab all three points to continue their push towards the top of the Premier League table. However, they will be missing James Maddison, whose creativity upfront offers an extra edge in their attacking approach.
Meanwhile, except for Bukayo Saka, the other Arsenal forwards, who hold huge reputations, have not managed to be consistent enough in this term. The Hard Tackle, to that end, expects a closely-contested 1-1 draw on Sunday afternoon.