Leicester City vs Arsenal predictions rarely take on any more importance than the match itself. But this ninety minutes has far-reaching implications.
The Foxes are flying with seven wins in the last eight while Arsenal lurch from one crisis to another, each time increasing the pressure on Unai Emery.
The last four have ended in draws during regulation time and on the road, the Gunners are struggling; one win in their five Premier League matches.
Football is, however, nothing but unpredictable. Nobody foresaw Arsenal netting five goals at Anfield and not winning. It was equally as unlikely as Leicester netting nine at Southampton.
Are the Foxes punching above their weight or Arsenal sinking with bricks tied around their ankles?
Our 2019 Premier League predictions offers our preseason thoughts on where the two clubs are heading this season.
Leicester City vs Arsenal Predictions
Shkodran Mustafi’s 80th-minute header in Portugal was the Gunners first shot on target in over 130 minutes. The lack of creativity and opportunities is deeply concerning for the Arsenal faithful and I’m sure, the coach himself.
Emery is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. If he tinkers with his defence, the attack suffers, neutered by a desperation to keep a clean sheet. Arsenal haven’t done that on their Premier League travels since the opening day win at Newcastle, helped ably by timid and supine hosts.
They travel to a Leicester side unbeaten at home (W4, D1) which only failed to score at the King Power during the opening day goalless draw with Wolves. Their four subsequent games all saw over 2.5 goals.
Which is no surprise given the form of the Premier League’s top scorer this season so far:
Best shot conversion in @premierleague this season (minimum 15 shots):
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) November 8, 2019
The difference between the two sides is that fundamentally, Brendan Rodgers has a team mentality. Arsenal, on the other hand, are uncertain of their style of play and seemingly unsure of what the coach wants from them.
Emery hinted as much after the recent draw with Wolves. Asked if his players understood what they wanted from him, all he mustered was “I think so”; it isn’t convincing. And that, I think, sums Arsenal up: they aren’t convincing.
Defeat here would see the Foxes open a nine-point gap, which is hard enough to overcome at the best of times. For Arsenal in their current form, it’s like sending them out to climb Everest armed only with ice-picks, flip-flops and a cagoule.
Part of the problem stems for poor supply. That might change with Hector Bellerin returning to the starting line-up, along with Kieran Tierney on the left. Emery is keen exploit the flanks but when in good positions the delivery is frequently below par.
If as expected the Gunners play with a variant of 3 – 5 – 2, it may stop what has been an effective Foxes midfield. James Maddison and Youri Tielemans have been involved in 10 goals, both scoring three and assisting two.
But flying under the radar somewhat is Harvey Barnes with four assists and the ever-impressive Ben Chilwell with three. The Gunners will need to concentrate. Even discounting the rout of Southampton, the Foxes score most of their goals in the second half.
Away from home, Arsenal are less of a threat with just five goals and only scoring in the first half at Watford where they threw away a two-goal lead.
Leicester City vs Arsenal Head to Head
Arsenal are well in charge of this fixture historically with 66 wins to Leicester’s 31. Forty-four finished all square.
Leicester are, however, unbeaten in the last three at the King Power (W2, D1), scoring three times in both victories.
Both matches saw Arsenal reduced to 10 men in the first-half with Leicester capitalising on numerical supremacy to take the points.
Leicester City Team News
Brendan Rodgers is missing Matty James only, giving him a wide range of options to face Arsenal.
Arsenal Team News
Dani Ceballos is the only injury absentee after tweaking a hamstring in Guimarães in midweek although Granit Xhaka’s wounded pride sees him miss out as well.
Unai Emery may be tempted to use the 3 – 5 – 2 formation with a back three of Chambers, Luiz and Sokratis.
Mesut Ozil is likely to make a rare trip north of Watford for the Gunners.
Leicester City vs Arsenal Betting Tips
Unsurprisingly, Leicester are odds-on favourites with Novibet match odds at 49/50 with Arsenal priced at 27/10 and 14/5 the draw.
The past two meetings at Leicester saw a red card each time; the price on a hat-trick Unai Emery will be determined to avoid? 51/20 for Over 0.5 Red Cards in the Match.
Leicester are on top in both form and recent history in this fixture, winning 3 – 0 and 3 – 1 in the last two meetings. The odds of those two scorelines are 16/1 and 12/1 respectively.