PREVIEW: Leicester City vs Arsenal – 09/05/2018
Leicester City vs Arsenal
K/O: 19.45 PM
Venue: King Power Stadium
Referee: Graham Scott
As Claude Puel looks to secure his first win in five games, as well as a top half finish, the Gunners are looking to continue where they left off from their last fixture vs Burnley where they run out 5-0 victors.
The fixture is currently a tale of two managers and their future. As one legendary managerial stint is coming to an end in North London; there is serious pressure on a so far forgettable managerial stint in Leicestershire as Claude Puel is starting to come under pressure as boss of the Foxes.
The reverse fixture of this game was the opening game of the Premier League 17/18 season which saw Arsenal run out 4-3 winners in an enthralling fixture at the Emirates. A repeat of this will likely excite Leicester fans, who haven’t seen their side score in three games.
Leicester City Team News
Claude Puel is hampered with a long list of current injuries as the long season is taking its toll. There are currently eight first team players in the physio room who will all miss Wednesday nights fixture. Kasper Schmeichel and Shinji Okazaki are both still suffering from ankle injuries picked up in the fixture vs Burnley with Robert Huth being the third member of the squad with an ankle problem.
The Foxes are also suffering with limited choices in the centre midfield department, with Matty James and Wilfred Ndidi both side-lined. The latter could possibly miss out on the World Cup yet his international side, Nigeria, are hopeful he will recover in time. Vicente Iborra, who started the fixture vs West Ham, remains a third CM who may be absent yet it is likely the Spaniard will face a late fitness test for the trip of Arsenal.
Leicester and Puel are also without Marc Albrighton who has faced further punishment following his reaction to his red card at Selhurst Park two weekends back. He has been fined £25,000 alongside a further two match ban. The Englishman was filling in at right-back due to the injuries of Danny Simpson (groin) and Daniel Amartey who both continue missing from the match day squad. If Albrighton is charged it may be the case that Yohan Benalouane will fill in at right-back as he did vs the Hammers. Ben Chilwell is also missing and likely to miss the rest of the campaign while Fousseni Diabate is believed to be suffering with illness.
Arsenal Team News
In comparison to their hosts this Wednesday, Arsenal are faring a little better in the injury department. They have no fresh injury concerns after the fixture with Burnley with Mesut Ozil and Mohamed Elneny (ankle) both remaining absent from the squad. The former, who is at discomfort with a back problem is expected to miss the fixture against Leicester and the following fixture on Sunday vs Huddersfield.
However, there was positive news in the Arsenal camp this week as Santi Cazorla, who has been absent since October 2016 with an achilles injury, returned to training. Although he will not feature this season, the Spaniard will have a massive impact for the new manager, whoever it may be, at the Emirates next season. The only remaining injury for Wenger is that of his captain, Laurent Koscielny, who after injury in the Europa League semi-final vs Atletico Madrid, has been ruled out for six months as he undergoes surgery on a ruptured Achilles.
Prediction: Leicester 1 Arsenal 3 – In 23 fixtures, Arsene Wenger has never lost to Wednesdays opponents and with a Leicester team low on confidence, I fully expect Arsenal to punish them.
Written by Eamon Kitching.