Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Arsenal v Leicester City Preview

After a great FA Cup semi final victory over Manchester City on Sunday it's back to Premier League action when reigning champions Leicester City come calling to the Emirates Stadium. Leicester haven't exactly defended their title in style and it's only in recent weeks where they have managed to pull away from the relegation zone. As it stands they are six points above third from bottom Swansea and Swansea only have four games left to play. They did of course reach the last eight of the Champions League and only went out to last year's runners up Atletico Madrid by a single goal. 

They did better in the Champions League than Arsenal have done in seven years, but they struggled badly to live up to the heights they reached last season. Their home form hasn't been too bad, but they have only won once in 16 away games with only Hull and Bournemouth conceding more goals away from home. If Arsenal are going to keep their top four hopes alive Leicester are a team they quite simply have to beat.

The teams drew 0-0 when they met in Leicester earlier in the season and there are plenty of points of interest in the game. Jamie Vardy came very close to joining Arsenal from Leicester last summer and I have no doubt the Arsenal fans will give him the reception they feel he deserves. Leicester only lost three league games last season and two of them were against Arsenal, but a mid season collapse meant Arsenal had to settle for second place in the end.

This season hasn't gone as well for Arsenal and they will have to finish very strongly if they are going to retain their regular top four place. They have seven league games to go before they play Chelsea in the Cup Final and seven wins would guarantee them a top four finish. Some of those games are decidedly difficult though and to win all of them would be a tough task if Arsenal were playing at their very best.

They have been far from their best for a long time now though and it would be a brave person who truly believed they will win all seven games. Their record against the rest of the top seven this season has been abysmal with only one win in nine games and three of their last seven games are against teams in the top seven. After Leicester they make the short trip to Spurs on Sunday and they still have to play at home to both United and Everton.

The experiment with three at the back seems to be progressing nicely and we certainly looked like a stronger unit against City than we have done in quite a while. The players also showed some belief and mental strength to come from behind to win even if they did ride their luck a little at times. Those qualities will have to be shown in abundance for the rest of the season if the team are going to reach the goals they have left.

The extra time the players had to play on Sunday could have an effect on some of them and could lead to a few changes in the team. While we were working our socks off to repel City the Leicester players were taking it easy and preparing for this game. I'm sure they would be more than happy to get one over on us and more or less put the final nail in our top four chances.

Arsene Wenger has a few options available to him with players like Mohamed Elneny, Danny Welbeck, Francis Coquelin, Alex Iwobi and Theo Walcott all looking to get a chance. I don't think he will make too many changes from the City game though and hopefully the players can show more of the spirit they showed on Sunday. It's going to be very tough to finish in the top four and I honestly don't think we will make it, but I don't think our chances will be killed off in this game.

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.


  1. Its about time Arsenal win 3 games in a row.The 3 men rearguard could be that the fm has realized belatedly that you cant play pretty soccer and win. Why not play plan b?
    Vardy is a dangerous player and can score in the blink of an eye. He must not be allowed time
    space like what Chelsea did to Kane: crowd him with a 2 /3men wall .He did score but
    generally was well martialed.
    As for Spuds I believe its time they get beaten and why not let Big Sam do the job.They have won 7 epl games in a row and this sort of run has to stop at some point.This is the epl and not Serie A where Juventus can win 10 to 15 games in a row.
    Cheers to Big Sam.If anyone can pull it off hes the one.

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