So this is the big day. Arsenal are aiming for their tenth win in a row after just 12 games under Unai Emery, and this could be very crucial to our confidence going into a very hectic week. The Gunners have a very healthy squad despite the international break and the only doubt after that is Sokratis, but now we have even more defenders available in Maitland-Niles (if needed), and Kolasinac, Monreal, Lichtsteiner, Rob Holding and Mustafi are all fit.
So first of all, let us look at Arsenal’s 8 Premier League games so far…..
Other than the opening home defeat to Man City we have won our other three matches at the Emirates, so we definitely are in confident mood. So now over to Leicester’s form this season…
So they have played 8 and won half of them, they have played 4 at home and won half of them, they have played 4 away and won half of them! This is mid-table form at best, and away wins at Newcastle and Southampton does not give them a lot of chance on paper, but you don’t play football on paper!
Now let’s look at our head-to-head games over the last few years…
Leicester may have beaten us at the end of last season when we were losing every away game, but at the Emirates they have only managed one draw out of 15 meetings since 1977, and we have won the other 14. History is definitely on our side…
The Foxes manager Claude Puel admitted that he has been very impressed with Emery’s impact at Arsenal. He said on the official Leicester site: “He started the Premier League games with some difficulties,”
“They lost their two first games. After, I think they worked and played well to win games in the cup and in Europe and Premier League games.
“Nine wins in this moment is incredible, but I think they have good confidence in their play. Perhaps they play with more direct play, more clinical player with clinical players like [Alexandre] Lacazette, for example.
“He can make a fantastic job. It’s not easy to take the team after Arsène Wenger. We know this manager can give for his club and starting this season with a new manager, with perhaps a lot of pressure.
“It is fantastic, their beginning of the season. I have respect for this manager and the quality of his work.”
So Puel knows how hard it will be for his team to win at the Emirates, but Emery himself is a little bit more wary of our opponents. He said: “The next game against Leicester is very big, very difficult. Leicester are a very good team and play with a clear identity under Claude Puel. They are very competitive, have very good players and we need every single player, and our mentality together to be stronger than in the last match.”
So it may not be as easy as we think, as we all know Arsenal have not really been playing so well despite the great run of wins. We concede far too many chances to every one of our opponents, just look at Fulham’s 22 attempts on Leno’s goal in our last game.
So onto the team news, we are only really missing Sokratis from the squad that faced Fulham, and Leicester have to play without their captain Wes Morgan after he got sent off against Everton.
So here is the team I think that Emery will pick today from his fit players….
Bellerin Holding Mustafi Monreal
Torreira Xhaka Ramsey
Ozil Lacazette Aubameyang
If the players have come back fit and well from the international break, I am going to go with Paul Merson and predict a 3-1 win for our Perfect Ten!