Champions of England, Leicester, square off against last season’s runners-up, Arsenal, in their second match of the Premier League season. Both coming off the back of defeat, the sides will look to put their treacherous displays behind them. Arsenal were the only team to pull the double over the Foxes last season, winning both home and away. However, Claudio Ranieri will be going all-out to win his side’s first home game of the season. But just who will have that extra firepower on the day to come out on top?
Leicester City v Arsenal | Saturday 20 August | King Power Stadium | 18:30
To Win (90 Mins)
Leicester City 37/20 | Draw 24/10 | Arsenal 14/10
After a miraculous 2015/16 campaign, Leicester City failed to keep the fairy-tale going after falling short at the hands of newly-promoted Hull City. The loss against Hull meant that Leicester were the first team (since the start of the Premier League era) to lose on the opening day.
After setting an unwanted Premier League record, Leicester will need to open a new chapter in their ‘hopefully’ never-ending-fairytale.
There were not much positives to take from the game. However, Foxes fans will be delighted with the performance of Ahmed Musa. The Nigerian showed his class and aggressiveness, despite his side going down at the hands of a managerless team.
Perhaps the Foxes need to add a few more big names to the pack. Leicester looked like nothing great at the back with Robert Huth missing in action. Luis Hernandez failed to impress on his debut and should drop to the bench as they welcome back Huth.
Last season’s PFA Player of the Year, Riyad Mahrez, will need to show at least a glimpse of his ability if the Foxes are to have any chance at achieving more success. Mahrez and Jamie Vardy were absolutely ruthless last season, banging in 41 league goals between them.
Vardy rejected a move to the Gunners and will be delighted with the chance to show just what Arsenal missed out on.
After suffering defeat in their opening game, Arsenal have now failed to win six of their last seven season openers. It may count for little right now, but the loss could come back to haunt Arsene Wenger, who was booed off by the Gunners supporters.
Wenger will need to prove that his side shouldn’t be written off so early into the season, starting with nothing less than a win against Leicester. Arsenal dominated this fixture last season, with a 2-1 victory at home and a resounding 5-2 victory on their last visit to the King Power.
Arsenal’s youthful defence lacked experience last time out. However, the Gunners should welcome the return of Laurent Koscielny, who recovered from his exertions at the Euro’s, and German international, Shkodran Mustafi, who is expected to complete a deal this week.
Also likely to return to the fold is Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud which is a massive boost. The duo were heavily missed as Arsenal fell to yet another opening day defeat. The return of Giroud up front will mean Alexis Sanchez will go back to his preferred position on the wing.
Big-money signing, Granit Xhaka, came off the bench against Liverpool, but should get the nod for this match. Another player who impressed off the bench last game was Santi Cazorla. The little Spaniard assisted two goals in the space of 30 minutes, giving Wenger even more of a headache with his team selection.
The Gunners will need to put their 4-3 loss behind them and pick up where the 10-game unbeaten Arsenal team left off last season.
Verdict: Arsenal (14/10)
As much as Arsenal were far from convincing in their opener against Liverpool, they did field a makeshift defence which is likely to change. With Koscielny at the back, along with the possible arrival of Mustafi, the Gunners should be able to stop Leicester. Despite going down, Wenger’s side showed that goals were not a problem for the London club. With that being said, the Foxes were fortunate to even get the penalty that got them the goal in their 2-1 defeat. Arsenal pulled the double over the champions last season are tipped to edge it once more at the King Power stadium.
Written by Jesse Nagel @Hollywoodbets
Written by Jesse Nagel @Hollywoodbets