Arsenal faces a tough test in the Premier League this weekend as they travel to face Leicester City and will hope to keep their confidence high after their thrilling win over Benfica in the midweek Europa League encounter.
The Gunners endured a topsy-turvy ride in Thursday’s Europa League last-32 second-leg tie in Athens, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s second goal three minutes from time eventually securing a 4-3 aggregate victory.
In contrast, Leicester City were tossed out of the same competition as they were extremely lacklustre in both legs against Slavia Prague, the second leg being a 2-0 loss at the King Power Stadium marked the end of this season’s European campaign.
However, the Foxes are in a much better position than the Gunners in the Premier League, with eight places and 15 points separating Brendan Rodgers’ high-flying team – who are also through to the FA Cup quarter-finals – in third with Mikel Arteta’s inconsistent 11th-placed side.
Leicester have claimed back-to-back victories from difficult meetings with Liverpool and Aston Villa, while Arsenal has won only one of their last five top-flight matches, losing three.
Leicester City’s trio Harvey Barnes, Ricardo Pereira and Timothy Castagne who all started on the bench in Thursday’s 2-0 Europa League defeat to Slavia Prague which knocked the Foxes out of the last-32 are expected to be recalled to face Arsenal on Sunday.
James Maddison will not play a part as he is still nursing a hip problem and James Justin (knee), Dennis Praet (hamstring), Wesley Fofana (hamstring), Ayoze Perez (knee) and Wes Morgan (back) are all sidelined too.
Arsenal on the other hand should have a fully-fit squad to take to the King Power Stadium.
Midfielder Thomas Partey came off the bench in Thursday’s Europa League win over Benfica and will be pushing for a recall following a hamstring injury.
Defender Rob Holding missed the trip because of a concussion but should be in contention.
Stats and facts heading into the match (Backed by Opta)
- Leicester City have won four of their last six Premier League matches against Arsenal (D1 L1), one more than in their previous 36 top-flight league matches against the Gunners (D10 L23).
- Arsenal have lost their last three away Premier League matches against Leicester, receiving more red cards (2) than goals scored (1) in these three games.
- Leicester have lost once to Arsenal at the King Power this season, losing 0-2 in the League Cup. The only team to beat the Foxes twice at the King Power in a season is Chelsea, who did so in both 2016-17 and 2017-18.
- Arsenal have won just 14.3 per cent of their Premier League matches at the King Power Stadium (1/7) – among stadiums at which they’ve played at least five Premier League games, only at Hillsborough (12.5 per cent) and Old Trafford (13.8 per cent) do they have a lower win ratio in the competition.
- Three different teams have already done the Premier League double over Arsenal this season (Aston Villa, Man City, Wolves), the most in a single campaign against the Gunners since 1994-95 (4 – Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle and QPR).
- Leicester City have won six of their seven Premier League games immediately following a European fixture this season (L1), while Arsenal have lost six of their seven such games (W1).
- Arsenal have lost consecutive away league games five times under Mikel Arteta (including a current run), last losing three in a row in February 2019. On each of the four previous occasions the Gunners have lost back-to-back away games under the Spaniard, they’ve won their next such match.
Arsenal in recent times have found it difficult against a Leicester City side who manages to get the result against them irrespective of how badly they perform but Arsenal can draw inspiration from their recent fine run of form to stake a claim in this one.
Verdict: Leicester City 1-2 Arsenal