11th August – Arsenal vs Leicester City Preview
7:45 pm Kick Off
As a Leicester City fan, this first stat doesn’t bear any positives whatsoever. Arsenal are a side that don’t lose to Leicester. It just doesn’t happen.
The last league defeat the Gunners suffered against the Foxes was back in November 1994 at the old Filbert Street.
Ironically, Brian Little had been sacked the day before the match, which meant that that league defeat against Leicester was actually against a team who were in temporary charge! Since then, Leicester have had 17 managers take the hot seat (excluding temporary managers), and still that elusive win against the Gunners in the league evades the club.
The overall head-to-head record between the sides, as expected, goes against the men in blue.
Arsenal have only lost 29 games against Leicester, in 137 (all competitions), the first game taking place way back in 1895, where Leicester Fosse managed to win by three goals to one against Woolwich Arsenal.
Talking of goals, this match day always throws up goals aplenty, with only four games since January 2000 averaging less than two goals between the sides (3x 0-0, 1x 1-0).
In simple terms, first of all, this points the way of open, expansive football with both teams taking their chances when they create them.
Second of all, if you’re a betting man or woman, take the over 1.5 goals market.
At the Emirates, against Leicester, Arsenal average 2.32 goals a game, with their opponents only averaging a poor 0.95. Within that, Arsenal have scored 146 goals in just the 63 games played at home against the Foxes.
Looking at the results over the years of this game, the same score line seems to reoccur.
In both ‘miracle’ seasons for Leicester City (2015 and 2016), the score line at the Emirates Stadium was 2-1; just the same as back in 2004- the last time Leicester played Arsenal away in the Premier League, that score line was also 2-1.
Again, in simple terms, forgetting last season’s 1-0 away defeat for the Foxes, the three away ties prior away at Arsenal, all ended in 2-1 defeats.
Of course, stats only go so far.
You have to look more closely at the squads to get a better idea of potential formations, starting line-ups and depth of squads from the bench.
Leicester look stronger this season on paper, with five new arrivals into the King Power Stadium., although one of those signings, George Thomas, won’t be playing first-team football and will spend time in the reserves.
The same can be said for Arsenal, who now have fire power up front after signing French striker Alexandre Lacazette.
With all that being said, this game could go either way; although it’s safe to say, Arsenal is not a happy hunting ground for Leicester.
Will the air-miles from pre-season take their toll during the ninety minutes? I think they will play a huge part this time around.
That’s the reason why I’ve gone for a low scoring affair (for once…)