If there was any better way to get over the result from the opening day of the season, then surely picking up three points away to the champions is a good way to start.
Gunners supporters haven’t had too much to shout about with regards to transfers this week, so Arsene Wenger has to ensure of the right result on Saturday afternoon.
Oddly enough, the top two teams from the 2015/16 campaign are both sitting at the other half of the table with zero points following last weekends results.
Premier League new boys, Hull, picked up a shock 2-1 victory over Claudio Ranieri’s men, but with and with them and Arsenal receiving a much-needed wake up call its anyones guess to how this one will finish.
We’ve picked out everything you’re gonna need to know as Arsenal look to get off the mark and continue their 100% win record from last season when faced with Leicester City.
It’s a week of big decisions for Arsene Wenger, as he ponders whether or not to risk bringing the trio of Mesut Ozil, Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud into the squad.
Arsene Wenger has already stated he’s willing to take a gamble on the fitness of Koscielny, but it will be too much to throw all three of them in from the start.
Injury concerns are already on the agenda, and after the Liverpool loss, both Alex Iwobi and Aaron Ramsey have joined that list with the duo expected to return after the international break.
The defensive crisis continues though, with Per Mertesacker and Gabriel both on the sidelines for lengthy spells and a lack of new signings coming through the door.
Aside from the negativity, there was some good news late this week as Danny Welbeck received the update that he could be in line to return before the New Year.
Arsenal Absentees: Gabriel (ankle), P. Mertesacker (knee), A. Ramsey (hamstring), A. Iwobi (thigh), D. Welbeck (knee) C. Jenkinson (knee)
It’s good news from the off for the champions, with no injury concerns to contend with as they look to get off to winning ways in the new season.
The recent confirmation of Riyad Mahrez signing a new contract will be a welcome lift in the camp, and they’ll also welcome back central defender Robert Huth after serving his suspension.
Leicester’s surprise success was put down to their ability to stick with a familiar starting XI each week, and Wenger needs to make the most of knowing how they’ll kick off.
Leicester Absentees: None
One’s To Watch
Arsenal – Santi Cazorla
Possibly the most exciting member of the Arsenal squad to welcome back this year and a player we haven’t had the pleasure to enjoy watching for such a long time following his injury in 2015.
Cazorla was stretchered off in the 55th minute of the 1-1 draw away to Norwich, and since then he’s made just two appearances in the Premier League, the most recent being last week.
He was brought on with just over 20 minutes to go and in that time managed to bag himself two assists and changed the game in Arsenal’s favour during the final third.
So what makes this outing so special? Well, with Mesut Ozil likely to be rested and Aaron Ramsey missing for at least three weeks, it gives Santi a chance start in the position he loves.
Before Ozil arrived the little Spaniard thrived in the number 10 role and we were rewarded with a few glimpses of how he’ll cope during this summer’s pre-season action.
With so much cover in holding midfield, Cazorla can use this campaign as a chance to really push on and cement himself a regular spot in behind the striker.
Leicester City – Ahmed Musa
In an attempt to maintain their recent success, Leicester broke their club-record fee this summer to sign the former CSKA Moscow forward for £16million.
His terrifying pace mixed with his ability to take players on at will is what makes him such a dangerous player, and it’ll be interesting to see where he lines up in the side.
Known for being a left-winger, Leicester finally have someone on the opposite flank to Mahrez to ensure they can attack down both of the wings with confidence.
He’s also been tested out in the forward role during pre-season and burst onto the scene with a fantastic solo goal against Barcelona in the International Champions Cup.
Him and Vardy together have pace on their side and it’ll be another long-ball approach from the champions if they go with the two up top. He’s a versatile player so Arsenal’s back four have to keep an eye on him throughout the game.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Cech, Bellerin, Chambers, Koscielny (c), Monreal, Xhaka, Coquelin, Walcott, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis
Leicester City (4-4-1-1): Schmeichel, Simpson, Huth, Morgan (c), Fuchs, Mahrez, Drinkwater, King, Musa, Okazaki, Vardy
Prediction: Leicester City 1 – 1 Arsenal
Despite the result against Liverpool, the Gunners were on top for the majority of the first half and as soon as Coutinho bagged that equaliser everything changed.
Although he didn’t do too much wrong, Rob Holding will make way for Laurent Koscielny and that will help to steady the ship at the back and across the defensive midfield.
Leicester have also got off to a shaky start and they were lucky to back into the game against Hull due to a dodgy penalty call, but this is the Premier League and a lot changes in a week.
They will have a fantastic atmosphere at the King Power and if they can take advantage of Arsenal’s new-look side then it’ll be an attacking performance from the start.
Get ready to see a more resolute starting XI from Wenger, but with them missing that little bit of quality on the flanks it’ll be another frustrating afternoon for the fans.