Coming off the back of a crucial FA Cup Semi-final victory, Arsenal return to Premier League action as they welcome Leicester City to the Emirates Stadium.
The Foxes had the weekend off and they haven’t played since their Champions League exit to Atletico Madrid, but they will be highly confident considering how well they played against a top Spanish side.
Arsene Wenger and his men have had serious amounts of pressure and scrutiny placed on their shoulders in recent times, but they seemed to have weathered the storm and have started a mini-revival. The Gunners recently switched to a 5-2-2-1 formation and they remain unbeaten whilst setting up this way in the last two matches.
Arsenal managed to overcome Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side by showing a huge amount of desire and fight, before Alexis Sanchez grabbed the FA Cup semi-final winning goal in extra-time. The Gunners have also recently beaten Middlesbrough in the Premier League.
The visitors, Craig Shakespeare’s Leicester City, have had a decent time recently, although this doesn’t reflect results-wise.
The Foxes fought heroically against Atletico Madrid and they were unlucky to see their Champions League venture come to an end. The Champions also performed impressively in a thriller at Goodison Park, yet, they came away from Merseyside with a loss.
Leicester have won two, drawn two and lost two of their last six, which, when considering who they’ve played, is a decent record.
Arsenal’s new found right wing-back, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, will face a last minute fitness check ahead of this tie after he suffered a minor foot injury against Manchester City. The England international left Wembley on crutches, but Wenger said they were only precautionary.
David Ospina, Lucas Perez and Shkodran Mustafi will all miss this fixture while Santi Cazorla, who has an Achilles injury, won’t play again this season.
For Leicester, Robert Huth, who missed the Champions League home leg against Atletico Madrid, is likely to return to action this week after completing his ban. However, Wes Morgan is ruled out with a hamstring injury that he picked up last Wednesday after he rushed his return from injury to cover Huth’s absence from their Champions League squad.
Namaplys Mendy, who isn’t expected to return until the end of the season, is Leicester’s only other concern.
Match Prediction: Arsenal 2-2 Leicester City
With both sides coming into this tie high in confidence, it should be an open encounter. The Gunners new 5-2-2-1 formation will be put to the test by Leicester’s energetic side, especially by Shinji Okazaki and Jamie Vardy up front.
Manchester United recently displayed the perfect way to defeat a formation with three centre-backs, by using two lively strikers, and Leicester have the players to imitate the Red Devil’s example.
Last season, the build-up to this game was all about which of the two sides would go on to win the title but the circumstances this year are hugely contrasting, yet it still should be an entertaining encounter.