90min: Arsenal host Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday evening, with the Gunners hoping to make it five wins in a row in all competitions.
Mikel Arteta’s side have been buoyed by their recent victory over Champions League hopefuls Wolverhampton Wanderers, while their 2-1 victory over Sheffield United last week saw them through to the FA Cup semi-finals.
As for the Foxes, their wretched run of form of late came to an end with a much-needed 3-0 home triumph over Crystal Palace, a game which saw forward Jamie Vardy reach a milestone of 100 Premier League goals.
The visitors’ recent form has somewhat opened the door for the chasing pack below them, yet a victory – and a league double – over the Gunners would go a long way to stabilising their European prospects.
Arsenal will perhaps be keen to field a similar starting XI to the one which conquered Wolves, although Alexandre Lacazette could earn a recall after his goal from off the bench on Saturday. As for absentees, the Gunners will again be without Calum Chambers, Bernd Leno, Pablo Mari and Gabriel Martinelli, while Mesut Ozil is likely to continue his spell on the sidelines – although Nicolas Pepe should be back after missing Saturday’s game when his wife went into labour.
As for the away side, Brendan Rodgers has a few issues to contend with following their victory over Palace at the weekend. Defender Ben Chilwell was forced off at half time with an Achilles issue, while midfielder Ayoze Perez was also substituted after receiving a knock to his ankle. One other major doubt for Tuesday’s fixture will be James Maddison, who sat out the clash with the Eagles due to a continued hip problem.
Arsenal: Martinez; Mustafi, Luiz, Holding; Cedric, Xhaka, Ceballos, Maitland-Niles; Aubameyang, Saka, Lacazette.
Leicester: Schmeichel; Justin, Evans, Soyuncu, Fuchs; Albrighton, Tielemans, Ndidi, Barnes; Iheanacho, Vardy.
The hosts made a worrying return to competitive action with defeats to both Manchester City and Brighton, but a switch to a back three has offered some much-needed stability at the back, with Arteta’s men claiming four wins in a row.
The most recent victory over Wolves was a real marker of Arsenal’s revival under the Spaniard, while versatile youngster Bukayo Saka also grabbed a thoroughly deserved first Premier League goal with a neat finish.
As for Leicester, their home victory on Saturday was their first since the restart, having previously continued their poor run of results in 2020. It is testament to their early season form that they remain where they are in the table, but the Foxes will no doubt be keen to get back to winning ways as the race for a top-four spot heats up.
Here’s a look at both sides’ last five competitive fixtures:
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-2 Arsenal (4/7)
Arsenal 4-0 Norwich City (1/7)
Sheffield United 1-2 Arsenal (28/6)
Southampton 0-2 Arsenal (25/6)
Brighton 2-1 Arsenal (20/6)
Leicester City 3-0 Crystal Palace (4/7)
Everton 2-1 Leicester City (1/7)
Leicester City 0-1 Chelsea (28/6)
Leicester City 0-0 Brighton (23/6)
Watford 1-1 Leicester City (20/6)
Although Leicester recorded a comfortable 2-0 win over the Gunners earlier this season, the recent inconsistent form of both sides makes this an exceptionally difficult game to call.
With Chelsea and Manchester United both keen for the Foxes to slip up, the pressure will be on to deliver a result against an Arsenal side who have European ambitions of their own.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-2 Leicester City
Source: Published by 90min