Wenger’s legacy is fundamental. Free flowing, attacking football by a club with integrity and class.

Arsenal Are Favorites To Beat Leicester But….

#LEIARS match preview by Shard aka @ShardGooner

Playing Leicester brings up some ‘What If?’ moments for me. What if 2015/16 had ended differently. What if Brendan Rodgers had been appointed as Arsene Wenger’s successor. What if Jamie Vardy had opted to move to us.

Maybe it’s natural to feel this way about a club that ends up replacing yours among the top clubs in the league. Or at least, is growing to become regular rivals.

A glance at the league table reveals that the erstwhile underdogs are now 15 points and 8 places ahead of the top guns. Jamie Vardy could join/surpass Wayne Rooney as the PL’s top scorer against Arsenal if he finds the goal against us again. He already has 11 in 12 games against us, and Leicester themselves have won 4 of the last 6 against us. We’ve also lost 3 straight games at Leicester City.

However, the midweek European expeditions flipped the script somewhat. An Auba brace, including a last minute winner had the Arsenal going through to the next round, while Leicester were upset by Slavia Prague.

It may not be via the premier league, but Arsenal are keeping alive the dream of returning to the Champions League. We keep hoping this team will find its spark on the basis of one win or the other, and invariably we fizzle out. As we carry our guns to the fox’s burrow though, we must hope that this time won’t be another damp squib.

Arsenal is in much better health

Our cause is helped somewhat by a clean bill of health. Even Partey and Chambers made recent appearances and no fresh injuries are reported, so we should be ok. Even here Leicester are struggling as they’re missing James Maddison, Ayoze Perez, Wesley Fofana, Dennis Praet and Wes Morgan. That’s quite an array of talent to be missing and maybe this is a good time to play them. We can carry the momentum of midweek into this game, and hope to take advantage of any doubts they may be feeling after their shock defeat.

For me, this would mean keeping possession and passing at a faster tempo than we tend to do. It also means pressing Leicester and not letting them settle. Thomas Partey, if he is fully fit, could really help us in both these aspects. Arsenal ought to also start finding some space in the centre with Odegaard/ESR playing through balls to the forwards. Defensively, we just need to be sure to watch for the ball over the top to Jamie Vardy. Leicester would be happy to give up possession if it meant having spaces to exploit behind us. Another player to watch out for is Harvey Barnes. He’s likely to be the main creative threat in Maddison’s absence.

It would be a mistake to simply look to contain Leicester. The Foxes could play possum for most of the game but strike at any moment. Also, watch out for them falling over to win penalty calls. My preferred approach would be to go in all guns blazing, and blow away the opposition. But Leicester still have capable players, and as such should count as favorites.

Arteta isn’t likely to eschew his conservative approach against opponents like this, injuries or not. However, he must want to get the better of Rodgers tactically. We can only hope he manages to outfox him.

Written by Shard aka @ShardGooner

4 Comments

  1. A big test for Arteta today. As Mancity tie was a one sided affair even before a ball was kicked.This will be a make or break match. Lets see what Arteta has to offer. Will he folliw in Arsene Wengers footsteps and tries play positive attacking football or will adapt his own defence first Mourinho approcah?

    Though people who think that they have got their Arsenal back have lost the case as we lost that Arsenal since Wenger left.
    The golden days are gone and will never return.

    Reply
  2. Given the injuries to many of Leicester’s key players, there is no reason why we shouldn’t go for it?

    Reply
  3. Nice prediction shotta
    You were right as Leicester looked tired from the start.
    But we should be giving some credit to Arteta for showing some attacking intent which did resulted in a comfortable win for Arsenal.Well done Atleast top half finish looks ominous.

    Reply
  4. Give Shard most of the credit. I simply piggy-backed on his usually excellent match preview. Arteta may have a massive ego but he is no idiot. The team took the game to Leicester particularly in the 1st half. One can understand why they were not as urgent in the 2nd after going up 3:1. Me and George discussed this in our upcoming podcast.

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