Another immensely pivotal encounter in the Premier League title race sees Leicester City attempt to follow up their stunning win at Manchester City last weekend by upstaging Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
As one of only two clubs to get the better of the leaders this season, Arsenal should feel as though they have what it takes to emerge with all three points here, but on the flip side they have witnessed so many others fall into the trap; indeed almost a false sense of security that Leicester create. For that reason Arsene Wenger and his team should be extremely wary of being caught out, especially given the number of men they commit forward in their home matches.
This match heralds the beginning of a sequence of fixtures which could decide the Gunners’ season, and they come into it having secured a morale-boosting win away to Bournemouth which not only ended a winless streak of four league outings, but halted a lengthy period without scoring a goal. The performance was far from vintage Arsenal, but their superior quality in both penalty areas was evident and the influence of Aaron Ramsey in the midfield helped turn the game in their favour.
Eyes were popping among many of the viewing public as Leicester totally dismantled the most expensively assembled squad in the top-flight in Manchester City, but now is surely the time to stop feeling befuddled by their achievements. It gave them a five-point lead at the summit, and has seen them installed as title favourites, a billing that will only increase if they can win here and complete a sensational double in the space of a little over a week.
The intelligent runs of Jamie Vardy and the silky skill and technique of Riyad Mahrez will undoubtedly cause the home defence problems and force goalkeeper Petr Cech to produce another top display, while Robert Huth showcased his threat from set-pieces at the Etihad Stadium. The key for the Foxes will be to continue taking each game as it comes and to put the sheer scale of what they are doing to the back of their minds – which will be increasingly easier said than done as the games tick by.
Francis Coquelin may be given his first start for Arsenal since returning from injury, while long-term absentee Danny Welbeck has an outside chance of being included in the squad.
Leicester are likely to be unchanged from the side that won at Man City, with Matt James and Jeffrey Schlupp still sidelined.
Last Meeting: Arsenal held on for a 2-1 victory just over a year ago that moved them into the top four and left Leicester five points adrift at the bottom. Two first half goals made it appear as though they would sail to victory, with Laurent Koscielny scoring from close range and Theo Walcott firing in a shot on the volley, but the visitors pulled one back through Andrej Kramaric and nearly managed to force an equaliser.
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