Aug 11, 2017
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Arsenal vs Leicester City: Premier League match preview, likely line-ups and score prediction

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will be hoping his side can get their new campaign off to a flyer when they host the 2015-16 Premier League title-winners Leicester City on Friday night.

The Gunners endured a difficult season last time out, missing out on Champions League football for the first time in 21 years, but Community Shield victory over Chelsea will give them a sense of hope.

On the other side, Leicester City will be looking to put their woeful start to last season behind them and continue in their late-season form under Craig Shakespeare, with a top-half finish in their sights.

The Boot Room takes a comprehensive look at the 2017-18 Premier League season opening clash.

Pre-Season Form

The hosts began their pre-season preparations with a tour of Australia, recording easy victories over Australian opponents before flying to Asia to compete in the International Champions Cup, seeing off old nemesis Bayern Munich on penalties before a fatigued defeat at the hands of rivals Chelsea.

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On return to England they played in the annual Emirates Cup, ending the tournament victorious despite losing more games than Sevilla, before beating Chelsea in last weekend’s Community Shield showdown.

It’s fair to say that their opponents have had a less esteemed pre-season, featuring in the Premier League Asia Trophy – beating West Brom and losing to Liverpool – before returning back to England.

Since then they’ve played a number of Football League sides, notably being defeated by Wolves and Burton Albion, before winning their final pre-season outing up against Borussia Monchengladbach.

Team News

Record signing Alexandre Lacazette is expected to make his Premier League debut leading the line for the home side, with Sead Kolasinac pushing for a starting spot after impressing against Chelsea.

But the big news is that talisman Alexis Sanchez – influential last season – is ruled out through abdominal injury, meaning that Theo Walcott could come into the starting eleven to add some pace, whilst both Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey are also unlikely to be fit in time for Friday’s opener.

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Alex Iwobi and Mohamed Elneny could therefore retain their starting roles from the Community Shield victory, whilst Santi Cazorla, Frances Coquelin, Jack Wilshere and Gabriel remain side-lined.

For the visitors, the big question hanging over their team is whether boss Craig Shakespeare will consider Riyad Mahrez as ready to commit on the pitch amidst ongoing speculation over his future.

Robert Huth is ruled out, paving the way for Harry Maguire to make his debut, whilst Danny Drinkwater, Islam Slimani and Vicente Iborra are other notable absentees from the first-team through injury.

Predicted Line-Ups

 

Match Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Leicester City

Even without the world-class duo of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez there’s certainly enough pace, endeavour and trickery in their side to find the target, particularly with Alexandre Lacazette about.

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Yet Leicester City’s additions this summer have been smart, and a potential midfield partnership of Vicente Iborra and Wilfriend Ndidi is an imposing thing to come up against so it won’t be easy for the hosts.

It’s the first game of the new campaign and it’s highly unlikely that either side will be firing on all cylinders just yet, but the Gunners’ ability in the final third should prove too much for the visitors.

Article Categories:
Arsenal · Leicester City · Match Preview

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