Arsenal v Leicester City
Sunday 25 October, 19:15
Live on Sky Sports Box Office
Arsenal showing a steely streak
Although there was an echo of good old-fashioned flaky Arsenal in their 2-1 win at Rapid Vienna on Thursday, the modern version then showed some of the strength of character and determination that are becoming hallmarks of the Mikel Arteta era. Having been second best for much of the first half and having then given away a calamitous goal, the Gunners struck the Austrians with a one-two combination, as four minutes separated David Luiz’s leveller from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s winner.
After starting their Europa League campaign with a victory, the Gunners will now look to get their top-four push back on track in the Premier League. They have suffered battling defeats at Liverpool and Manchester City, but their home form is a source of encouragement. Arteta’s men have won their last four Premier League games at the Emirates, if you stretch back further, they have taken maximum points from nine of their last 11. During that stretch they have beaten Manchester United and Liverpool.
One thing Arteta will want to see more of is his side keeping a clean sheet. They have eked out just one Premier League shutout this term, and that 3-0 success at Fulham was the only time they haven’t conceded a goal in their last ten top-flight outings.
Dani Ceballos and Willian are both battling to be fit for the game, while Thomas Partey could make his first Premier League start after catching the eye in Vienna. Rob Holding, Gabriel Martinelli and Pablo Mari are all still out.
Banged-up Foxes short of their best
While Leicester City’s 3-0 win over Zorya in the Europa League on Thursday constituted a pretty-much perfect evening, manager Brendan Rodgers still has cause for concern. He has a slew of key players out injured, and after a bright start, the Foxes’ form has dipped.
Leicester started the league campaign with three straight wins, a run crowned by an extraordinary 5-2 win at Manchester City. Having fallen at the final hurdle in last season’s race for the top four, the East Midlands outfit looked in good nick this time around.
However, there then came a 3-0 hammering at home to West Ham that saw the Foxes post an Infogol Expected Goals figure of 0.59, and after that they conceded a last-gasp goal in a 1-0 home loss to Aston Villa, with a similarly disappointing xG figure of 0.63.
Youri Tielemans and Wilfred Ndidi are missing from midfield because of injury, while defenders Caglar Soyuncu and Ricardo Pereira are also out. Rodgers is hopeful that Jamie Vardy will return after a calf problem, and Opta stats show the striker’s return would provide a huge boost. Vardy has scored 10 goals in 10 Premier League starts against Arsenal, with only Wayne Rooney scoring more often against them in the Premier League era.
Gunners can edge another home win
Arsenal aren’t always pretty at the Emirates, and while we’re not quite talking George Graham levels of efficiency, they have rediscovered the knack of winning at home when they don’t play well. Arsenal have won 20 of their last 27 home games against Leicester, and their overall recent home form is excellent. It’s also worth considering that Arsenal have already won at Leicester this season in the Carabao Cup.
I’ll back the hosts to win at evens.
Overs understandably the favourite
You can see why Over 2.5 Goals is trading at 4/51.79. Arsenal have seen five of their last seven home games featured at least three goals, at that’s true of five of Leicester’s last seven overall.
However, there’s an argument to say that Under 2.5 Goals is worth serious consideration at 6/52.16.
The teams have met three times in the last year, and all three games have featured fewer than three goals. Also, Arsenal have only had 41 goal attempts across their five games (Opta say only Crystal Palace and West Brom have had fewer), while Leicester have only had 49.
Auba to end PL drought?
Arsenal skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted the winner in midweek, and now he’s looking to end his wait for a Premier League goal. The Gabon international has gone four games without a goal in the top division – he hasn’t gone five top-flight matches without scoring since he was at Borussia Dortmund. He is 5/6 to score on the Sportsbook.
At time of writing, Jamie Vardy is widely expected to feature here, and he is 5/4 to find the net.
If you’re looking for a good bet on the Sportsbook’s Same Game Multi, it’s worth backing Arsenal to win and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to score at 2.7.