Leicester and Arsenal neck and neck in the battle for a top four spot
Arsenal to win 1-0
Arsenal will probably feel that it is a good time to play Leicester currently, with the Foxes having lost their previous two matches in the league.
Despite starting the season with an absolute bang, winning their first three matches including a 5-2 thumping win over Manchester City, Leicester have faded somewhat with form and fitness a problem in recent weeks.
The Gunners, who sit a place behind Leicester on goal difference, have also played very well at times but have shown that they are still a step behind the ‘big two’, losing to both City and Liverpool in the league.
There is undoubted quality on both sides, and their managers set their teams up to play quick, attacking football which means that we should have an entertaining game to watch.
A few weeks back, Leicester would probably have been favourites for this one, but now the balance may have swung back in favour of the home side this weekend.
Form Guide (all comps): LWWLW
Reasons to be cheerful:
Are picking up comfortable wins against the lower sides
New signing Thomas Partey will add steel and quality in midfield
Reasons to be fearful:
Have struggled against the bigger teams this season
Face a tough run of fixtures
You feel that Arsenal are not too far away from being able to make a significant challenge to those higher up the table.
In previous seasons, they have swatted away the small teams with ease, only to fall weakly against the big guns.
This season, they seem to be getting closer to that elite level, playing better against the top sides, albeit losing against City and Liverpool.
New midfielder Thomas Partey is arguably the player they have needed for several years – one who can add real quality, drive and determination in midfield. He could be the catalyst to take them to the next level.
The Gunners do face a tricky run in the next month or so – after Leicester they travel to Man United, before taking on 2nd place Villa, attacking newcomers Leeds before hosting Wolves at the end of November.
Star Man – Thomas Partey
Was highly praised for his full debut in midweek – he can break up the play in midfield as well as contributing going forward.
Form Guide (all comps): LWLLW
Reasons to be cheerful
Vardy could play a part after injury
Midweek European win will boost confidence
Reasons to be fearful
Looked flat upfront against Villa and West Ham
Injuries to key defenders are hurting them
After spending most of last season in the top four, only to fall away at the final hurdle, Leicester fans would have been pleased to see their side win their first three games of the season.
They will be hoping not to fall out of the top four again so soon this season, after losing their last two games in tame fashion.
A 3-0 defeat to West Ham was followed by a 1-0 loss to Aston Villa, with perhaps the most worrying aspect being their lack of creativity in front of goal.
With Jamie Vardy still not fully fit with a niggling injury, Leicester have struggled to keep up their goalscoring form from earlier in the season. They did, of course, put three goals past their Europa League opponents in midweek to ease matters.
Star Man – James Maddison
Has looked great since returning from injury – a goal in midweek will help boost his confidence
Leicester will hope Vardy is fit to play a part
Defensive issues could cost them
Arsenal will fancy their chances to move into the top four
Unfortunately for Leicester, Jamie Vardy’s injury isn’t all they are concerned about, with Soyuncu and Ndidi both suffering on the treatment table.
The Gunners shouldn’t have too many fitness concerns, and will be hoping that their pacey attack can make the most of any weaknesses at the back.
Thomas Partey should make his first league start for Arsenal and fans will be excited to see what all the fuss is about.
Arsenal’s form is slightly better than Leicester’s and that makes them slight favourites.
Arsenal to win 1-0